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Provencal Duck Stew with Winter Fruits

This duck stew recipe is completely adaptable to any season of the year. However, as the prunes, walnuts, cinnamon and a touch of orange slow-cook with the duck meat your home will smell a little like Christmas. Provencal Duck Stew with Winter Fruits is a make-ahead main course for a meal with friends.

Provencal Duck Stew Winter Fruits

Provencal Duck Stew with Dried Fruits

This duck stew is a great dish for dinner parties (or long lunches) because it is best prepared ahead of time and reheated. It will allow you to enjoy the meal as much as your friends.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 14 hours
Course Main Dish
Cuisine French, Provencal
Servings 6 people


  • 1 4-5 lb Duck 1.8-2.2 kg
  • 1 Carrot thinly sliced
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 1 stalk Celery thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves mashed
  • 10 Black peppercorns
  • 10 Juniper Berries
  • 1 piece star anise
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 1 Orange Peel and juice
  • 1 bottle Pinot Noir
  • 12 Prunes
  • 12 walnuts
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp Flour
  • 1 quart (1100ml) Chicken stock
  • 1 Apple peeled and diced


  • Cut your duck into eight pieces, like you would breakdown a whole chicken, and put in a large bowl with room for more ingredients.
  • Add the carrot, onion, celery, garlic, black peppercorns, juniper berries, star anise, cinnamon orange and pinot noir. Let marinate for 10 to 12 hours sitting out in your kitchen.
  • Strain the marinade, separating the vegetables and liquid.
  • Simmer the prunes and walnuts in the liquid for 20 minutes.
  • Melt the butter in a large saute pan and brown the duck on both sides. When browned, remove the duck and saute the vegetables leftover from the marinade.
  • Sprinkle flour over the vegetables, mixing well.
  • Strain marinade into vegetables and add the browned duck pieces back to your pan.
  • Keep the prunes and walnuts to add back to the sauce later.
  • Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer for one hour.
  • As you cook your duck you may need to add chicken stock to keep it moist and stew-like. I ended up using about one quart.
  • At the end of the cooking time, remove the duck pieces and strain out and discard the vegetables.
  • Return the duck meat, prunes and walnuts, and apple then simmer for ten minutes.
  • Adjust seasonings and serve.


I used an Alina duck from LaBelle Farms in New York. They are a special French breed renowned for their ultra rich, almost squab like flavor, that are raised in arena style hoops and fed only corn grown on the same farm.
Keyword Duck, Stew
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Chef François de Mélogue

François de Mélogue grew up in a very French household in Chicago. His earliest attempts at cookery began with the filleting of his sister’s goldfish at age two and a braised rabbit dish made with his pet rabbits by age seven. He eventually stopped cooking his pets and went to the highly esteemed New England Culinary Institute, where he graduated top of his class in 1985.

Chef François has over 30 years of cross-cultural culinary experience and brings an impressive culinary history and a unique Mediterranean cooking style. After graduating top of his class from the notable New England Culinary Institute, Chef François began his career in a number of highly acclaimed kitchens across the country, including Chef Louis Szathmary’s restaurant The Bakery in Chicago, Old Drovers Inn, a Relais and Chateaux property in New York and Joel Robuchon Gastronomie restaurant in Paris, before opening award-winning restaurant Pili Pili in his hometown of Chicago, rated in the Top Ten new restaurants in the World by Food and Wine magazine in 2003.

Chef François resides in St Albans, Vermont with his wife Lisa and ten-year-old son Beaumont, who has proclaimed himself the family saucier. Chef François' latest publication French Cooking for Beginners: 75+ Classic Recipes to Cook Like a Parisian takes you on a culinary journey well beyond the streets of Paris. Francois is a professional photographer specializing in food/product photography, real estate photography and shooting rural landscapes of Vermont and France. Explore his work on

Take a look at his website Simple French Cooking filled with delicious recipes and beautiful photos. Also follow Francois on Medium for more tempting dishes Pistou and Pastis.

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