Duck with Sausage and Herb Stuffing (Anatra en Porchetta)

>> Thursday, February 3, 2011

Save this recipe for a day when you're not watching your weight, or after you've been shoveling Chicago snow all day and you need rich, fulfilling refueling. A day after the Chicago SnowPocalyse of 2011 is perfect for making this, especially if someone else is doing the shoveling while you're cooking.

If your chain grocery store doesn't often provide duck, and you don't know any hunters, try an Asian or Latino store, where the meat selection is usually much wider and cheaper than in mainstream American stores.

Note: this is a recipe that we originally received from friends in Tuscany. Ordinarily this recipe would be used for roasted pork, which is often sold off street carts in panini sandwiches, or offered in local butcher markets. Using duck instead of pork is an interesting innovation, but feel free to use the basic recipe with a pork shoulder or an entire pig, if you have the facilities to cook it.


2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
½ teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
1 fresh Italian sausage, skin removed
1 5-pound duck
3 bay leaves
6 thick strips pancetta or bacon
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup dry red wine
Salt and pepper

Preheat an oven to 450 degrees.

Crumble the sausage into a bowl and mix in the garlic and herbs. Rinse the duck and pat dry. Insert 1 bay leaf and the sausage mixture into the duck. Sew up the cavity with kitchen string and tie down the wings and legs close to the body so they do not brown too quickly. Cover the breast with the pancetta or bacon and place the remaining bay leaves on top of the bacon. Place the duck breast-side up in a roasting pan. Stir together the wine, oil, salt and pepper, and pour it over the bird.

Roast for 1 ½ to 2 hours, basting occasionally, until the pancetta or bacon are crisp and a thermometer inserted into the breast registers 175 degrees. Transfer the duck to a board and let sit for 10 minutes. Remove and discard the string and bay leaves. Remove the stuffing and carve the duck. Serve over a wide pasta such as fettucine, if desired.

Serves 4-6


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