Braised Duck in a Chocolate Wine Sauce

  • serves 4
Christine Cushing
Christine Cushing

Chocolate can be used in a savoury way – it adds a wonderful richness and depth of flavour. Serve with mashed potatoes if you like.

17 Ratings
Directions for: Braised Duck in a Chocolate Wine Sauce


4 duck legs, each cut in half

Flour, for dredging the duck

3 Tbsp butter (45 ml)

12 shallots or 12 small cipollini onions, peeled

2 carrots, diced

2 Tbsp finely diced pancetta (30 ml)

1 cinnamon stick

2 bay leaves

2 cup dry red wine, preferably Zinfandel (500 ml)

3 whole cloves

4 sprig fresh thyme

2 sprig fresh rosemary

Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

1 ½ cup chicken stock or brown chicken stock (375 ml)

1 oz bittersweet chocolate (28 grams)

2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses (30 ml)

¼ cup cranberries, dried (60 ml)

¼ chopped parsley (chiffonade) (60 ml)


1. Trim excess fat off duck. Season the duck pieces with salt and pepper. Dredge duck in flour.

2. Heat half the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Brown duck pieces for about 3 minutes each side. Drain off excess fat. Remove duck to a plate and reserve.

3. Add remaining butter to same Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add pancetta and cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Add shallots (or cipollini) and carrots and cook until shallots are lightly browned, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add cinnamon, bay leaves, wine, cloves, thyme, rosemary, cranberries and pomegranate molasses. Bring to a boil. Add duck. Reduce to a low simmer and cook (uncovered) until wine is reduced by ½, about 20 minutes.

4. Add stock. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil again then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until duck meat is tender, turning the duck pieces halfway during the cooking time. Cook until duck is very tender, about 1 to 1½ hours.

5. Transfer duck to bowl. Heat sauce over low heat and whisk in grated chocolate until just melted. Be careful not to overheat or the chocolate will scorch. Add the duck back to the sauce. Stir in parsley. Serve.

See more: Braise, Main, Chocolate, Dinner, Poultry

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