Braised Duck with Sparkling Cider and Wild Mushrooms


Nonalcoholic sparkling cider gives this dish a sweet-tart flavor.


  • 2 pounds game-bird or poultry bones

  • 3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped

  • 1 onion, quartered, with skin on

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1 pound turnips, peeled and cut into 1 ½-to-2-inch pieces

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 2 cups sparkling cider

  • 1 cup Brown Game Stock or chicken stock

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • ½ pound assorted wild mushrooms, trimmed and cleaned

  • ½ teaspoon cider vinegar


  1. Cut wing tips from duck below the first joint. Trim flesh from wing bone and discard. Remove excess skin and fat from duck. Save bones for stock.

  2. Prick skin with a fork. In a large, deep, heavy skillet, saute duck over medium heat, skin side down, until most of the fat rendered and skin is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Drain and discard fat from pan periodically. Turn and cook 5 more minutes. Transfer duck to a plate. Drain remaining fat from pan.

  3. Add shallots to skillet and cook over low heat for 2 minutes, scraping brown bits. Add rosemary, 4 sprigs thyme, and turnips. Cook 2 minutes more. Add sugar, cider, stock, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Return duck to pan, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove breasts and continue cooking legs for 25 more minutes, or until tender.

  4. Remove legs and turnips. Strain; skim and discard fat. Pour sauce into a clean skillet.

  5. In a medium pan, heat oil over high heat. Add mushrooms; cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

  6. Add mushrooms, turnips, and legs to sauce. Add vinegar and remaining thyme. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat until sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon, about 5 to 10 minutes, turning legs once or twice. Add breasts just to heat through, and serve.

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