Pressed Duck - Canard à la Rouennaise à la presse

Pressed duck recipe

The following is a recipe for pressed duck, while working in Dubai we had access to a duck press, the owner of the press wanted desperately to try it out rather than it being just a curiosa so we at the Swedish Pavilion during Expo 2020 were allowed to practice with it, the following is the resulting recipe derived from my many years work experience, research, and you tube.

The Duck was an issue The strangled duck was impossible to find in Dubai as only halal slaughtered individuals are given visas here. We bought the best ducks we could find, they were French, so we were on the right track.

We trussed the duck and filled it with fresh herbs, in the trussing process the parsons nose gets folded back into the stomach cavity, thus creating a closed cavity, this wasn’t a problem, but after only 15 minutes in the oven the herbs were still cold and so they wouldn’t have added anything to the taste. We roasted off the duck as per the recipe and after 15 minutes in the oven the duck only reached 30-35 degrees core temp.

Whatever happens to the duck legs? They’re never shown on any of the you tube clips.
We jointed of the legs and removed their thigh bones and roasted the thighs well done, obviously this takes too long if you are cooking and serving the pressed duck from a gueridon station in the dining room.
I sliced the well-done thighs in the kitchen and served them together with the breast we also served the drumstick as well as a garnish.

4 other service scenarios could be.
Have extra duck legs prepared and cooked in the kitchen, “medium or undercooked duck legs for me is not going to be an edible option” re heat them and bring them back out to the gueridon station when the duck breasts are served.

Remove the legs and cook them in the kitchen, cooking them in the restaurant isn’t a time or ventilation option. When the legs are ready serve them as a second serving with the same sauce or an alternative sauce.

Serve a preprepared confit duck leg as a tasty garnish, serving them at the same time as the duck breast.

Write the menu so that the guest only expects to be served the duck breast, make something else of the legs and sell it as a starter on the menu.

We chopped up the duck carcass quite small, the receptacle in the press isn’t so big, with the strangled duck obviously there is more blood to extract during pressing process than our halal duck. We pressed out a couple of dl of blood, fat, marrow ect and used it to thicken the sauce, we prepared a well reduced duck stock in advance and as per the recipe thickened it with the extracted blood, it worked quiet easily, with a similar thickening technique to a blood soup or its equivalent in many European dishes.

The loaded press

We served the dish from what I would call more of an action station than a gueridon station. Hats off to those who manage carving a duck from the gueridon.

I removed the breast from the carcasse and as they were barely 30 degrees I sliced the breasts lengthways and gently warmed them a little in a pan then flambeed them with cognac. And served them rare to medium rare, I added in the sliced thigh prepared leg and napéed them with the sauce.

Obviously with a dish this French you need to choose your vegetable garnish and potatoes, they need to be as French as possible.

and out it runs, flavour and thickening

Pressed duck - Canard à la Rouennaise à la presse

  • 1 duck preferably strangled.
  • Fresh herbs for roasting, garlic, rosemary, thyme, bay leaf
  • 1dl sherry
  • 1dl cognac
  • 5dl reduced duck jus
  • 100g butter
  1. Truss the duck.
  2. Season well inside and outside
  3. Sear of the duck on all sides
  4. Bake in the oven with the fresh herbs at 180° for 15 minutes
  5. Remove the legs, roast until well done.
  6. Remove the breasts and roast medium rare.
  7. Chop or cut the bones, carcass and trimmings into smaller pieces suited to the size of the duck press.
  8. Screw down the press and press out all the juices and blood.
  9. Caramelise the sherry, flambé with the cognac
  10. Add in the duck jus and bring to the boil, turn down to below simmer,
  11. Slowly add in the duck blood and juices, stirring continuously, strain and re heat, add in the butter and season.
  12. Slice the duck breast lengthways & serve.