Duck Stew Foggia-Style with Olives, Fennel Seeds and Tortiera



4 servings



4 lbs. Muscovy duck*
6 tbsp. virgin olive oil
1/2 lb. pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 lg. Spanish onion, chopped into 1/4-inch dice
2 celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
1 tbsp. fennel seeds
2 green olives from Ascoli
2 cups Sweet Aleatico di Puglia wine
2 cups Basic Tomato Sauce (see recipe elsewhere)
2 dried hot peppers from Puglia
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Cut duck into 10 pieces by splitting the breast and cutting each in half into 3 pieces, 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks and 2 wings. Save the liver and use it to thicken the sauce.

In an 8- to 10-quart heavy-bottomed braising pan or Dutch oven, heat 6 tbsp. virgin olive oil over medium flame until smoking. Place duck pieces skin-side down and cook until golden-brown and most of the fat has been rendered. Cooking 4 to 6 pieces at a time, this should take 20 to 30 minutes.

When done, drain pan of all but 2 tbsp. of fat and add pancetta. Cook until lightly browned and add onion, celery, carrots and fennel seeds and cook until softened, approximately 10 minutes. Add olives, sweet wine, Basic Tomato Sauce and hot peppers and bring to a boil. Submerge duck pieces and liver and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer 1/2 hour, or until duck is falling off the bone.

Remove duck and liver to platter with tortiera. Using a wooden spoon, chop liver to fine mush, return to pan and season sauce with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over duck and serve.

Author's Comments

* 1 or 2 wild ducks

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