Quebec-Style Duck, Apples & Maple Syrup


2 tablespoons rendered duck fat or vegetable oil

4 duck breasts

2 tart cooking apples, peeled cored & cut into 1/8 inch slices

3 large shallots, minced

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

salt & pepper to taste

½ cup apple cider vinegar

1 ½ cups of duck or chicken stock

½ cup pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon unsalted butter


Heat the duck fat in a heavy, 10 inch skillet over a moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the breast halves & quickly brown on both sides, about 5 minutes total

Remove the breast halves from the pan & set aside

Stir the apples shallots, bay leaf, thyme, salt & pepper & cook, stirring for 3 minutes, high stir in the cider vinegar & cook until the mixture is almost dry

Add the stock & maple syrup & bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, bring the liquid to a simmer, and add the duck breast & any of the juices

Braise slowly for about 10 to 12 minutes, turning once, until medium rare

Remove the duck & apples, using a slotted spoon

Discard the bay leaf & over a very high heat reduce the sauce until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the butter

Season with salt & pepper

Take the breast & slice them at 45 degree angles crosswise into 16 pieces

Place the apples on 4 serving plates arrange the breast on top of the apples

Spoon the sauce over & serve