Canard a la Lorraine (Duck Lorraine)

Beautiful pink duck wth mirabelles...
Beautiful pink duck with mirabelles…

The mirabelle plum.  Near impossible to come by here in Australia and never in the middle of winter!  Yet, the fruit is traditional to the Lorraine region and so it would be wrong not to try to bring you something using traditional ingredients!  The ingredients are hard to come by though, so there’s been a lot of adaptation.  I hope it works!!

Tonight’s recipe is courtesy of


  • 1 beautiful Muscovy duck  (I used duck breasts due to availability)
  • 1/2 bottle of wine gray Toul (I used a pinot gris due to availability)
  • 1 small glass of brandy or mirabelle eau de vie (I used brandy with some mirabelle conserve)
  • 2 carrots grated
  • 1 turnip grated
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 2 shallots finely diced
  • 1 clove of garlic finely diced
  • 1/2 liter of broth
  • 1 small bunch of parsley
  • thyme
  • bay leaves
  • coriander seeds
  • 20 g lard
  • salt
  • pepper


How to do it

Drunken Duck...
Drunken Duck…

Firstly, do not attempt to cook this with one preschooler in the bath and one under your feet.  You’ll burn the duck!!

This recipe calls for you to joint your bird and place the pieces in a baking dish with the brandy to marinate for 24 hours.  Given I am using breasts, I scored the skin before whisking together the brandy and mirabelle conserve and placing the lot in a baking dish to marinate overnight.



Browning (burning) the skin...
Browning (burning) the skin…

The next day, preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius and melt the lard in a pan and brown your duck pieces in a pan until lovely and golden before placing in a casserole dish.  If using breasts like me, place the duck skin side down in a hot frypan for 3-4 minutes to render fat and crisp the skin.  Then turn and cook on the other side for a scant few minutes before removing to a plate.



Sauté and soften the vegetables ...
Sauté and soften the vegetables …

If using the duck pieces, decant the duck fat from the frypan to the casserole dish, add the vegetables, herbs, spices, wine and stock before covering, turning the heat down on the oven to about 150 degrees celsius and cooking in the oven for about 1.5 hours.  If using breasts add the vegetables, herbs, spices, wine and stock to the frypan and simmer, covered for  about 10 minutes or until softened.



A little crispier than I intended!
A little crispier than I intended!

Add the duck back to the pan and place in the hot oven for 8-10 minutes.  Rest the duck breasts for 5 minutes before slicing and serving on top of the vegetables and sauce.  If using duck pieces, remove the duck from the casserole dish to rest and simmer the vegetable sauce for 5 minutes to reduce and thicken before serving.



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