3 litres of water

600g coarse sea salt

600g granulated sugar

1x 2.2kg duck or two small ducks to total weight of approx 2.5kg.


1 large carrot, peeled

4 medium leeks, use cleaned green ends save white parts for vegetable garnish

1 small celeriac, peeled and quartered optional, not readily available, or stick of celery

or 1 fennel bulb, outer leaves save rest for vegetable garnish

1 small onion or half a large one, peeled

1 clove

2 sprigs of fresh thyme optional

2 bay leaves

20 coriander seeds

10 peppercorns


2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced

4 leeks, the white parts from above

12 pearl onions or small shallots, peeled

1 medium celeriac, peeled and cut into large pieces or 1 fennel bulb centre from above quartered.

4 salsify roots, peeled and cut into pieces if available

100g mushrooms, wild, chestnut or white, washed and sliced

4 small turnips, peeled and sliced

Broccoli florets or purple sprouting broccoli tips.


If any of these herbs are not available choose a combination that you like.

I have used a mix of coriander, dill and a little parsley.

15g chives, finely chopped

15g chervil, finely chopped

15g tarragon, finely chopped

30ml shallots, finely chopped

Freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil

Red wine vinegar

Serves: 4 hungry people

Source: Cooking with Daniel Bouloud



Add the water to a large pan, bring to the boil

Add the sugar and salt, stir well to dissolve and remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Select a bowl or pot large enough to hold duck and brine, and that will fit into the fridge.

Add the brine and duck to the bowl, cover and place in the fridge for approx 24hrs, the duck can be left up to 48hrs.

Just before cooking the duck, drain and discard the brine.


Place the duck in a large pot and cover with water.

Bring to the boil over a high heat and skim off any foam and fat that rises to the surface.

Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the whole carrot, green ends of leeks, celery or alternative, thyme, bay leaves, coriander seeds, peppercorns.

Simmer gently for 11/2 hours. Skim any further foam that rises for a clean stock.

When done, carefully remove the duck into a large dish and set aside to cool

Strain the broth and discard the vegetables.

Reserve stock, cool and chill.

About 1 hour before you wish to serve the duck.


Combine the herbs and shallots add enough oil to make a thick paste, add a splash of red wine vinegar and ground black pepper.

Leave to stand so that the flavours develop.

Preheat over to 120C

Carefully remove the breast meat, leg and thighs from the duck, place in a large serving dish/bowl, cover with a little stock, cover with foil and place in a 120C oven to warm through.


Add approx 2 litres of the poaching stock into a large pan and bring to the boil

Keep the remaining stock for leftovers, soup etc

Add the sliced carrot, white leek and pearl onions or shallots. Boil gently for 5 mins.

Add celeriac or fennel, mushrooms, cook for 3 mins

Add turnips, cook a further 8 mins

Add broccoli pieces

'Throughout France, the traditional Sunday meal during winter is pot-au-feu-literally 'pot on the fire'-consisting of different cuts of meats and root vegetables boiled together in broth. The meat used depends on the region in which it is prepared. This recipe features brine-cured lean Muscvoy ducks, and is an adaption from the more traditional pork cuts or beef pastrami. This dish can be prepared up to 4 hours in advance, kept cool, then reheated for serving'.

Cured duck in the pot, making the Pot-Au-Feu

In the pot

Delicious left overs with cous cous.