Braised duck legs with orange and turnips

Braised duck legs with orange and turnips

Here is another great recipe to make when Mediterranean blood oranges are in season. I have chosen fresh duck legs, cuisses de canard, which have less fat than the traditional confit de canard, duck legs preserved in their own fat and salt.
Braising which means first lightly frying and then slowly stewing under lid makes the duck legs fondant, tender and melting.

2 servings

2 fresh duck legs
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp. flour
100 ml red wine
100 ml chicken stock
1 organic blood orange, zest and juice
6 baby turnips
1 bouquet garni, a bay leaf and some thyme sprigs tied together
Freshly ground black pepper

Place a heavy casserole such as Le Creuset over medium- low heat and gently fry the duck legs on both sides until golden brown.

Add the onion and garlic and continue sautéing for about 5- 10 minutes.

Add the flour and mix. Then add the wine, stock, and orange zest. Peel the turnips, cut the larger ones in halves and add to the casserole. Add the bouquet garni and some black pepper and simmer covered for 1 hour.

Juice the blood orange. Turn the duck legs over, pour the juice over them and continue simmering partly covered for 40- 50 minutes.


Bonnard Museum in le Cannet

Musée Bonnard le Cannet

Le Cannet is located about 3 km north of Cannes. It is a chic; surprisingly quiet town and many small streets still have the atmosphere of a small South of France village.

The post-impressionist painter Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947) left Paris and stayed over 20 years in Le Cannet. The Bonnard Museum in a Belle Epoque house is situated on the Boulevard Sadi Carnot next to the town hall.

In early autumn, when we visited the museum, the air was cooler and the crowds had left the Riviera. We found a free parking on Bd Sadi Carnot. There’s a small parking house behind the museum. From Cannes, there is also a bus connection.
The Bonnard Museum is beautifully built, but it is small compared with the huge Paris museums. The museum opened in 2011, and it co-operates with Le Musée d’Orsay in Paris.

This summer’s exhibition, Inspirentes Inspiratrices, was dedicated to the ladies who had inspired Bonnard, Matisse, Vuillard, Picasso and many other renown painters and sculptors. Despite its size, the exhibition had a very high quality.

After the museum, we walked up along a narrow lane to Rue Saint-Sauveur. We had lunch on a large terrace with several restaurants while admiring the view down to Cannes and the Mediterranean Sea.


Poulet au citron

Poulet au citron

Poulet au citron, lemon chicken, is a classic French winter dish when lemons are in season. It is usually made with citron confit, preserved lemons. I have found a recipe to quickly make preserved lemons in microwave, and with less salt than in the traditional recipes. Make sure that you use organic lemons because the secret of the taste in preserved lemons is that they are not peeled.

Citron confit express,2 servings

1 organic lemon
50 ml water
A pinch of salt

Wash the lemon and cut into small pieces. Place all the ingredients in a small microwave bowl. Cover and microwave for 2 minutes, then mix. Repeat the process five times, then place the bowl in the fridge for 24 hours before using. In a pinch, citron confit express can be used at once but the consistence is better after 24 hours in the fridge.

2 servings Poulet au citron

4 organic chicken thighs, with skin
1 shallot
1 clove garlic
2 servings citron confit express
1 organic lemon
2 thyme sprigs
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil
100 ml water
Fresh thyme leaves to decorate

In a heavy casserole, cocotte, warm the olive oil over medium heat and fry the chicken thighs on both sides until golden brown. Chop the shallot and mince the garlic and add to the casserole. Continue cooking for a few minutes.

Wash the lemon, cut into six segments and add to the casserole. Add the citron confit express, thyme? Water, and black pepper.

Cover and reduce the heat. Simmer for 45 minutes. Decorate with fresh thyme leaves and serve with new potatoes or green lentils.

NB! If you wish to have a deeper colour on the chicken thighs and lemon segments roast the dish without lid in 210° C for the last 20 minutes.


Duck breast with clementines

Duck breast with clementines

Magret et clémentines, duck breast with clementines, is a perfect winter recipe when Corsican clementines are in season. Almost 80% of the French clementine production comes from Corsica and these days organic clementines are available.

2 servings

1 magret de canard, duck breast
4- 6 organic Corsican clementines
1 organic orange, zest and juice
100 ml water
1 tbsp. runny honey, pref. lavender honey
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped parsley to decorate

In a small saucepan, warm the honey, water, and orange zest over low heat. Let simmer for about 15 minutes.

Criss- cross the fatty side of the duck breast with a small sharp knife. In a heavy iron-cast frying pan over medium-high heat, fry the magret 8 minutes on the fatty side, then 6 minutes on the meat side. If you prefer your duck breast more well done, cook for 10 minutes on the fatty side. Place the duck breast on a cutting board and cover with aluminium foil.

Pour the fat out of the pan and set the pan over medium heat. Deglaze the pan with the orange juice and add the red wine vinegar. Peel the clementines and add the clementine segments to the pan. Reduce the heat and let the clementines cook for a few minutes. Add the honey- orange zest confit from the saucepan.

Slice the duck breast and divide on the plates. Divide the clementines on the plates and drizzle over the sauce. Decorate with chopped parsley and serve with green lentils or beans.