2 Muscovy Ducks (approximately 4 pounds each, quartered and trimmed of excess fat)
3 teaspoons Salt
1 1/4 teaspoons Freshly Ground Black Pepper
5 Shallots (Peeled and Split in half)
3/4 cup Diced Carrots
3/4 cup Diced Onion
2 Fresh Bay Leaves
3 Fresh Rosemary Sprigs
4 tablespoons coconut flour
1 cup Red Wine
3 cups Dark or Light Chicken Stock (preferably home-made)
1/3 cup and 2 tablespoons Armagnac
24 Prunes


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. On the stove begin warming two large skillets over medium-high heat.
2. Meanwhile, season the ducks with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper.
3. When the pans are hot add the duck pieces, fitting as many as you can in the pan without crowding, skin side down, and sear for about 6 minutes. (You probably have to do a couple of batches.)
4. Turn the heat down to medium and continue cooking for another 4 to 5 minutes, until skin is crisp and golden brown.
5. Turn over and cook on the second side for 4 minutes. Remove to a baking sheet, set aside, and prepare the remaining duck pieces the same way.
6. When the duck is finished, remove all the pieces to a large roasting pan, skin side up.
7. Drain off the excess fat from the skillets into a glass measuring cup. Wipe out a skillet with paper towels, and return to the stove and set over medium heat.
8. Add 4 tablespoons of the reserved duck fat to the pan and then the shallots, cut side down, along with the carrots, onion, bay leaves and rosemary sprigs.
9. Saute the vegetables and aromatics for 5 to 6 minutes, then stir in the flour. Cook, stirring, until a light roux is formed, about 4 minutes. Whisk in the red wine, chicken stock and the Armagnac. Season the sauce with remaining teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper then simmer for 3 or 4 minutes. Add the prunes.
10. Pour the sauce over the duck in the roasting pan. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Then turn the duck pieces over to skin side down and continue to bake for 45 minutes longer, or until the meat is very tender.
11. Transfer the duck pieces to a large warmed serving platter and then stir the remaining 2 tablespoons of Armagnac into the sauce. Pour much of the sauce over the platter of duck, making sure to pile on the prunes, and serve the remaining sauce in a bowl or gravy boat on the side.

Difficulty: Medium
Serves: 8
Preparation Time: 1.5 hrs

Recipe courtesy of Heather Atwood, 2013.

In recent years society has begun to see a drastic increase in gluten intolerance. This dietary restriction has given cause for the creation of some of the most exciting and flavorful dishes that feature gluten free ingredients. Food blogger and food enthusiast, Heather Atwood, has many recipes that are not only gluten free, they are easy to prepare and are always mouth watering. Her recipe, inspired by a recipe from Emeril Lagasse, for Gluten Free Duck is a wonderful alternative to the traditional braised duck.

Straying away from the standard chicken-based recipes might be a bit intimidating for some home cooks, but with Atwood's step by step guidance and encouragement in her online recipe-video, this dish is simple to prepare. Boasting a cooking time similar to your favorite chicken recipe while adhering to gluten free dietary restrictions, this recipe for Gluten Free Duck will make you look like a master chef.

I'm going to make braised duck with prunes and Armagnac. I'm going to start with two heated pans. These are very hot. I have two ducks here, cut into pieces.

I have salt and peppered them, each of them. And I'm going to set them in these hot pans, skin side down, because one of the very important things about duck is the skin. There's so much wonderful fat in the skin. But you want the skin to get crispy.

This recipe asks for you to cook the ducks just like this. You set it in a very hot pan so it sears. And it sits for six minutes.

The duck breasts and legs have been in the very, very hot pan steering. And now, I'm going to turn them over. And hopefully, we have a gorgeous-- there we go-- skin side of the duck.

I'm going turn the heat up a little bit again to more like medium high. And we'll let these cook for four minutes.

I know these guys are ready. So I'm going to remove them to a roasting pan. And as you can see, the skin is just gorgeous, mahogany, crispy, just what you want.

These are going to sit and rest for a little bit. I'm going to clean out this pan. But I'm going to save this duck fat because we're going to make a beautiful sauce back in this pan.

The first thing we're going to do here is put in shallots that have been cut in half. We want the bottoms of these shallots to get all sort of caramelized. And then I'm going to sprinkle the onions in there too and the carrots. And we're let all this cook, pretty much being casual about those shallots so they stay half side down.

So the vegetables are browning now. And I'm going to add the aromatics, three leaves of bay and a few whole sprigs of rosemary. And then we'll turn this into a sauce. I'm going to remove the bay and actually any little pieces of rosemary that are sitting right on top.

And now, because I am planning on making this a gluten-free dinner, I'm going to make a rue using coconut flour. So I have four tablespoons of coconut flour here. And I'm going to sprinkle this in over the vegetables. And I'm just going to stir.

This is going to be the thickener for our sauce. It just begins to sort of clump with the vegetables a bit. And actually, the coconut-- there was a faint scent of coconut. And that just dissipates because it's been cooked.

Now, I'm going to kind of slowly add the chicken broth. The flour begins to just pull in that broth and thicken the sauce.

So now, I'm going to add the red wine. And I'm going to add the Armagnac too. And then we're just going to let this whole thing simmer for about three or four minutes.

It doesn't have to be a thick sauce. But the rue has bound it just enough. And I'm going to add salt and pepper. That's pretty critical at this point. A good liberal dosing of salt and pepper.

OK. So now, sauce over duck. You just want to sort of push the vegetables all over the duck. Take about two cups of prunes and just sprinkle them all over the whole thing.

Then I'm going to seal the whole pan in foil. And it's going to disappear in that oven. So in the oven at 350.

It's time to check the duck. It's been in the oven for 45 minutes, skin side down. And it smells pretty good from here.

I smell aromas of rosemary and Armagnac. Hm, there we go. Isn't that beautiful? They look great. They look like the meat is all falling off the bones and really, really moist and tender.

I'm going put it all on this platter, pretty gently. I don't want to break the skin, if I can. Isn't that a wonderful color?

I'm going to add all the duck to the platter and then I'm going to add just a little bit more Armagnac to the sauce. And cook that down for just a minute and pour the sauce over the whole thing.

I'm going to heat the pan, turn some heat on the pan one more time. And with a large roasting pan, you can do both burners. And I'm going to add just two more tablespoons of Armagnac and let that cook for a little bit since we have alcohol to cook off.

And I think we're good. I think I'm going to turn it off. And it's time to pour it over all this duck. Who says gluten-free can't look and taste delicious?

Gluten Free Duck
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