John Pleshette’s Braised Duck with Rutabagas

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Actor and foodie John Pleshette shares his weekly recipes with us:

Braised Duck with Rutabagas
Serves 4

One duck (5-6 pounds)
Fresh thyme
Bay leaf
2 cups of veal stock or 1 cup each of chicken and beef stock
2 large carrots
2 large brown onions
6 medium rutabagas

Pre-heat oven to 450°
Rinse out the duck cavity. Dry. Pull out fat glands.
Salt and pepper. Stick three sprigs of thyme and one bay leaf inside. Truss duck or tie legs together with butchers twine.
Melt 3 tablespoons of butter and a splash of vegetable oil in a large au gratin pan or cast iron skillet. Dry the duck with paper towels, salt and pepper, and set on one side in the oven. Cook for 20 minutes basting several times, flip the duck. Brown and baste the other side for another 20 minutes. Remove from the oven. Place duck on a plate.
Meanwhile, peel carrots and onions. Split carrots lengthwise and cut into thirds. Cut onions lengthwise into quarters
Reduce 2 cups of stock to 1 cup.
Make a bed in the roasting pan with the onions and carrots. Scatter with a few sprigs of thyme. Set the duck on top, breast side up. Reduce oven to 350°.
Return the duck to the oven. Pour in stock. Prick the skin with a sharp fork. Cook duck for about 30 minutes, basting occasionally.
Meanwhile, peel the rutabagas, cut lengthwise in half and trim into long ovals. Boil in salted water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold water to stop cooking. Dry on a dish towel.
Take the duck out and place upside down on a warm platter. Pour pan juices into a bowl and after a few minutes, drain off as much of the fat as you can. Heat remaining pan juices in a small saucepan.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a saute pan. Add the rutabagas. Sprinkle with salt, white pepper and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Saute over medium heat, shaking the pan to brown evenly.
Arrange duck on a platter surrounded by rutabagas. Garnish with chopped parsley.