Fruits | Meat & poultry | Traditional Spanish Recipes

Duck with Pears aromatized with anise

Would you (American readers) consider cooking duck instead of turkey this coming Thanksgiving? Or is it part of the tradition to eat turkey on a day like this?
Even though, we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, we do celebrate Christmas and I’m starting to sharpen my knives and bring the huge pots and casseroles to the front. That’s why I cooked this delicious duck with pears to see if the recipe had a chance for Xmas… and I’m showing it to you now because maybe you want to change the turkey for the duck ;D.
The truth is that 1 duck would feed 3 persons… make your numbers here. I bought a young female because they are more tender and super tasty. The contrast between the duck’s meat and the pears is more than delicious and on top of that, the recipe also contains anise seeds… still drooling… ¡Que bueno!
So, considering that this is my Thanksgiving dish I would like to say thanks for having a healthy and wonderful family, thanks for surviving the crisis (for now), thanks for being still able to buy fancy products to perform fancy recipes… gracias!
Joan Baez would be the perfect background’s voice for this dish:
“Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto
Me dio dos luceros que cuando los abro
Perfecto distingo lo negro del blanco
 Y en el alto cielo su fondo estrellado
Y en las multitudes el hombre que yo amo…”


Ingredients for 3 to 4 servings (depending on how hungry you are): 1 young female duck, 6 pears blanquilla type, 1 onion, 2 carrots, 1 leek, 4 ripe tomatoes, a thyme branch, 1 bay leaf, olive oil, 1 flour table spoon, 2 anise seeds teaspoons, half a glass of white dry wine, salt and black ground pepper.
  • Ask the poultry shop to clean the duck for you and cut in handy pieces (8 to 10).
  • In a big pan add enough oil to roast/fry the duck. Sprinkle the duck with salt and black ground pepper and place in the pan, once it goldens up reserve aside.
  • Clean and cut in small dices the carrot, leek, onion and tomatoes. Leave some of the oil in the pan and reserve the rest. Pour the veggies in the pan except the tomatoes. Soften them at low heat and add the thyme and bay too. Then pour the tomatoes and when they loose their water, add the wine. Reduce the sauce, add the flour, mix it well and pour 1 and a half liters of mineral water.
  • When it boils again, add the duck and one teaspoon of anise seeds and let it simmer until it's tender. Mine took 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile place the pears in a pot full of water and the other anise seeds teaspoon and bring to boil. Let it cook for 15 minutes.
  • When the duck is done, add the pears and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • You can blend the sauce if you want or leave the veggies in pieces like I did.
  • Enjoy!


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11/23/2011 · 10:26 h by bellini

In Canada Thanksgiving is in October and I could never tire of turkey. I have served duck when we have a smaller crowd and it is very good!

11/24/2011 · 17:38 h by FOODalogue

For Thanksgiving, turkey works best because it feeds many. We are 18 people around the table — we would need too many ducks, besides it’s tradition to eat turkey.

That lovely duck dish would be appreciated more at a smaller dinner party.

11/24/2011 · 21:03 h by Nathan

That looks lovely,
yes for thanksgiving Turkey is common because it’s simply tradition and also it’s a VERY HUGE bird it can feed ALOT of people. It’s just roasted whole (though way’s to season it vary) I would love to make your stew though :) YUM it looks very delicious :) <3 the idea of using anise seed and pears :)

11/25/2011 · 8:14 h by Tracey

Love both duck & turkey although my husband isn´t keen on duck! Your recipe sounds delish!! Unfortunately find it quite difficult to buy a whole duck here in Castilla La Mancha!!!

11/25/2011 · 9:46 h by Núria

Thanks for the answers.

Hola Tracey, here in Cataluña you can find it at poultry shops (pollerías) and when Xmas gets near there’s lots of them.

12/25/2013 · 14:54 h by Kiara

Really good dish! Everyone enjoyed it at Xmas

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