Roasted Duck with Turnips, Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts

Serves 6

2 5-6 pound ducks thoroughly defrosted (It is very important that the inner cavity of the duck is not still icy)
2 yellow onions
2 stalks of celery
3 cups of chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
3 cups of brussels sprouts
3 slices of bacon (optional)
3 cups of turnips
3 cups of new potatoes
1/2 cup chopped shallots

Place the duck liver, heart and neck in a sauce pan with the chicken broth. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours
Preheat the oven to 250F. Remove any obvious pieces of fat around the openings of the cavity. Sprinkle the cavities of the ducks with salt and pepper. Quarter the onions and celery and place in the cavities of the ducks. Rub the bodies with olive oil , sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place on a rack in a roasting pan breast side down. Roast at 250F for three hours.

After the three hours remove the ducks from the pan. Change the temperature to 350F. Pour out the fat and return the ducks, breast side up, to the oven. Cook for 45 min to 1 hr until the duck breasts have an internal temperature of 175F. This will produce a crispy, well done but tender duck. If you like your duck rare in the French style, then adjust the cooking time.

Par boil the potatoes until they are half way cooked. Quarter the turnips. Slice the ends off of the brussels sprouts and remove some of the outer leaves. Then cut each brussels sprout in half, or in thirds if they are large.

Strain the duck broth through a sieve and return the broth to the pan. Add the white wine. Return to the fire and cook until reduced to half the amount of liquid.

When the ducks are fully cooked, remove them from the oven. Pour the pan juices into a spouted degreasing cup. Cover the ducks with foil.

Pour the degrease drippings through a strainer into the broth. This will probably be a small amount as a duck is very fat. Put two tablespoons of flour mixed completely with 1/3 cup water into the broth. Bring to a boil. Then add 1 tsp. of thyme and a few fresh parsley sprigs and simmer until the broth makes a nice sauce. Salt and pepper to taste.

Saute the quartered turnips only in the roasting pan in what little drippings remain after having poured off the fat on the top of the stove until tender. Place in a large warmed serving dish. Cover with foil.

Quarter the new potatoes. Saute them in olive oil in a heavy skillet until lightly browned. Add the chopped shallots and continue to sauté until the potatoes and shallots are crispy, being careful not to burn them. Add salt and pepper to taste and remove to the serving dish with the turnips. Cover with foil.

Saute the brussels sprouts in olive oil until tender but still a little crispy. Optional. Cook three slices of bacon in the microwave. Crumble the pieces and add to the brussels sprouts.

Quarter the ducks and place on the serving dish. Pour the sauce over the duck.

This seems like a lot of work, but it is worth every minute. Coordination of cooking is the key.

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