Wine-Braised Duck Legs with Agen Prunes (Civet de Canard Aux Pruneaux D'Agen)

Wine-Braised Duck Legs with Agen Prunes (Civet de Canard Aux Pruneaux D'Agen)
Wine-Braised Duck Legs with Agen Prunes (Civet de Canard Aux Pruneaux D'Agen)Anna Williams

Many years ago, I learned a classic civet of duck cooked in a rich wine and blood sauce from the most wonderful female cooks in the Lot-et-Garonne, chef Marie-Claude Garcia of La Belle Gasconne restaurant and my dear friend Vétou Pompèle. They taught me to always “cook” the wine lightly by lighting it on fire before adding the meat and aromatics to simmer. Duck breasts, wings, or legs work equally well in this dish, all taking on a striking dark color from the wine. Rather than adding the traditional dash of blood often used in a civet, I use a few squares of dark chocolate to thicken the final sauce. The delicate deep purple prunes from Agen, France, that I add at the end of simmering give a luxurious texture and sweetness.

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