Canard laqueé au miel – Duck glazed with Honey


The description “pure honey” is illegal in France, because honey must always be pure as a matter of course.

A quote from the Culinaria France where the idea for this Provence dish came from. Canard laqueé au miel is a return to the supposed to be monthly classic French dishes dinner parties. Last week’s scallopini and mousse combo took up the 70’s quotient so Duck a L’orange will have to wait.


Something very satisfying, even when done slowly and clumsily, about cutting up your own meat. Duck is a matter of removing the wings and the legs – a pop of dislocation then cut around. And then removing the breasts by following the backbone closely on either side. This leaves the carcass and a pile of peices of fat and skin that can be rendered down for later use.

The skin and the breast of the limbs was brushed with unprocessed jarrah and banksia (both natives) honey instead of the suggested lavender honey. The carcass becomes a stock. Joining: one carrot; an inch of leek; a stick of celery; and a bouquet garni of rosemary, thyme, 2 bay leaves wrapped and tied with the green part of a leek. Left to simmer for an hour and a half. Let me know if you know of anything that smells better than duck stock. The stock becomes the sauce for the duck, which I’ll return to.

The duck breasts were cooked skin side down in a dry pan until golden, then moved to the oven at 190C for 10 minutes with the limbs, before being allowed to rest for another 10. The pan is deglazed with the duck stock, reduced and then a dab of butter added for gloss. The breasts are, having rested for 10 minutes sliced and the reduction poured over.


Expecting a rich taste, I balanced with stodge of potato cakes with a little bite of added chives and the acidity of tomatoes. The potato cakes were made from grating Royal Blue potatoes, squeezing the moisture out, and then mixing in finely chopped chives. The starch holds them together and they were nicely browned on a stoevtop griddle cooked in the fat of the excess skin. The tomatoes were cooked slowly in a saucepan with butter, leek, rosemary, and thyme. I skin my tomatoes by cutting a cross in the end and then holding them over the burner. I then cut the end off and squeeze out the seeds.


The Dinner
Dinner started well with Rob’s dish [pictured] of home-grown eggplants with tomatoes, olive, ham and breadrumbs. For something so rustic is had a very sophisticated combination of salty, sweet, and acids with the creaminess of the eggplant offset by the breadcrumbs. The flavours of the main were good with the tomato and the potato being just right. The duck was a little too cooked for my liking, and as this was my first time, doneness could do with more practice. Veronique pays enviable attention to the presentation of her desserts and her passionfruit mousse with mango coulis was typically superb fare.

Joining us was a ’98 Penfold’s Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz and my wine writing can’t do it justice, while I strain to pick the bouquet in most wines, this one overwhelmed. Very quality. Vodka in the freezer and a lime made for an impromptu palate cleanser between main and dessert.

A good week for food.

passionfruitmousse penfoldsbin3891998 vodkalime

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  1. Anonymous’s avatar

    Hmmmmm. No mention that it was a MONDO duck ;) Looks delish, if a little rich. What you gonna do with the rest of the stock?

  2. Nicole’s avatar

    Stupid blogger, that’s my comment above.

  3. Anthony’s avatar

    It was a mondo duck but there was nothing particularly mondo about it other than they do have whole ones which is better because you can then make the duck stock and mess about with a butcher’s knife. Down side was no giblets, up side was that ducks aren’t that much more expensive than chickens.

    The rest of the stock is sitting in the freezer for some future sauce or cologne.

    And I did guess it was you although it could have been my payola coach.

  4. teddles_russ’s avatar

    Me too had to re-log to the comment system. Fie Blogger!

    Now to the 1 inch leak. Nuh-uh. Sorry Anthony, no way you are going to get me to do that, nor my family to eat it once I do… %)

    As Trish says “Anyone can roast beef, it takes a special person to pea soup…”

    Seriously though – sounds robust and tasty. I may just give it a whirl…

  5. Anthony’s avatar


    Thank you for your vigilance. It serves me right for being highly amused with myself for going “look I’m taking a leek” at the supermarket.

    It’s actually a pretty easy way to cook duck. Good luck with the renos!

  6. Jeanne’s avatar

    Hmm. So it was you saying “my, what huge melons!” by the cantaloupe stand every time a well-endowed woman walked past…

  7. Anthony’s avatar

    ’tis true and I sing along to the muzak. It’s the mind numbingness of 6 cubic metres of canned tuna, none of which is plain.

  8. JumpingPuddles’s avatar

    It’s so easy to over-cook duck isnt it? My mum made a casserole dish with duck last week. To cut thru the rich flavours, she used a sauce made from chinese preserved plums (we are chinese btw) – the true sweet and sour. As with all casseroles, the duck became more tender the longer she allowed it to simmer.

  9. Anthony’s avatar

    Hi Jumpingpuddles.

    Ducks a bit like squid in that cooking regard. I haven’t had chinese preserved plums but the Japanese equivalent umeboshi are amazingly sour. Good choice by your Mum. duck a l’orange uses the sourer Seville oranges so I was a bit curious to how sweet with sweet would taste. Not sickly sweet but you couldn’t eat a lot of it.

    Sweet and Sour, another dish needing rescuing from the 70’s.

  10. Zoe’s avatar

    Was that a … plastic chopping board?

    And yes, the satisfaction of cutting up your own fowl and making stock for something else is just the bomb.

  11. Anthony’s avatar

    Yes it was, hygenic and colour coded. Glass is better but nasty nasty for cutting on. Wooden one’s for bread and roasts.

    It’s the shit but still a bit sad about those giblets. Appently you can make a nice dish with the neck too.

  12. Zoe’s avatar

    Plastic not more hygenic, no! A bacteria obsessed American told me so, so I must believe.

    We use all wood, one fruit, veg, bread one for fish and one for meat.

    Much better on your knives, too.

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