The origins of this popular French dish are believed to date back to the Roman gourmand Apicius.
- 1 long island or pekin duck
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 branches fresh thyme
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 1⁄3 cup white wine
- 1 1⁄2 cups poultry or meat stock
- 16 small turnips, trimmed, peeled, and parboiled
- 1⁄4 tsp. sugar
Preheat oven to 325°. Season duck inside and out with salt and pepper and stuff cavity with bay leaf and 1 of the thyme branches. Tie legs of duck together with kitchen twine.
Heat oil and 1 tbsp. of the butter together in a large wide heavy pot over medium-high heat. Sear duck until browned all over, 10–12 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Pour off all but 3 tbsp. of the fat. Add wine and stock to pot and boil for 2 minutes. Return duck, breast side up, to pot, cover, and braise in oven until duck is cooked halfway through, about 40 minutes.
Melt the remaining 2 tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add turnips, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste and cook until turnips brown in spots, 3–5 minutes. Add turnips to pot with duck, cover, and braise in oven until duck is cooked through, 40 minutes.
Transfer duck and turnips to a large warm platter and discard kitchen twine. Skim fat off sauce in pot, then spoon sauce over turnips. Garnish duck cavity with the remaining 2 branches of thyme.