Magret de Canard a la Vanille


I think I’m suffering from “Francophile creep”, a slow, insidious mind-snatching that occurs after living in close proximity with the consumers of fine wines and cuisine, Les Gaulois.  I never thought this would happen to me but this morning while prepping the  good quality, German duck breasts, I found my self thinking “These look funny, they will probably taste okay but so un-French.”


Oh-My-God!  I’m an American!  France has ruined the world for me!  I only want French butter, wines, meats, foie gras, escargots, mussels and boudin noir.  Of course it didn’t help that Jade said that the magret tasted different.  Sick, sick, sick!  I’m sorry I secretly laughed at you Francophile people.  You couldn’t help yourselves 🙂


This recipe comes from L’Aquitaine and I made this about a year ago  Today, in consideration of Jade, I added gnocchi with sauteed onions and chives.  I’ve also toned down the butter and sugar for the magret ; not sure if that was good or bad.


A little shot of Calvados would not have hurt these apples.  Next time.IMG_6205b

Magret de Canard a la Vanille 

2 uncooked magret de canard

2 packages of sucre vanille; if you can’t find this in a gourmet store, you can make your own

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, plus 2 tbsp

2 onions

4 tbsp butter

Cooked gnocchi

Chopped chives

Salt and pepper

3 apples, cored and cut into 8 pieces each

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp sugar

Score the magret on the fat sides in a diamond pattern, sprinkle with 1 package of sucre vanille on both sides,  2 tablespoons of  balsamic vinegar and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

In a sauce pan, boil 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar with 1/2 package of sucre vanille and 1/2 tsp of black pepper until the liquid is reduced by half.   Set aside.

Saute the onions in 2 tablespoons of butter, salt and pepper on a low flame for about 15 minutes, mix with the gnocchi, sprinkle with chopped chives.  Set aside.

Sprinkle the sugar, cinnamon and remaining 1/2 package of sucre vanille on the apples and brown in 2 tablespoons of butter.  Set aside.

Sear the magret de canard on the fat side first for 5 minutes, remove the accumulated fat, turn and cook on the other side for 8 minutes.    Reheat the vinegar reduction, the apples and the gnocchi, slice the magret and serve.

Wine suggestion:  Cremant de Alsace

About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
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31 Responses to Magret de Canard a la Vanille

  1. Sounds like a very posh French aristocratic lady – La Comtesse Margaret de Canard a la Vanille:)

  2. Karen says:

    The canard sounds delicious…no matter what country the kitchen is located in.

  3. Love the way you´re thinking: I too used to mock the Spaniards for their little glasses of wine, and different tapas to accompany them. Now it all makes perfect sense…you can still drink but you get to eat gorgeous things along the way and you don´t feel drunk! Beautiful récipe. Must buy some duck soon 🙂

  4. Food snob… :D. This does look great though, Rosemary… I’d prefer you to be French than American… but it’s a close call 😀

    • I prefer being American and eating French 🙂

      • Each to his/her own 😀 – We’re supposed to dislike you both… 😀

        • We? Welsh or Brits? Why?

          • Brits… well, we have a long history with the French which has caused a social paradigm which means that we have to hate the French… they hate us too… mainly because we beat them a lot. Of course, it’s just a cultural joke now. And Americans, well there’s a running joke about how obnoxious Americans are as a nation – you can see it in the way they are sometimes depicted in films that aren’t American… this is also a joke/misconception (though there are, I assume, some exceptions). It’s just a big joke really 🙂 – we don’t seriously hate either of you. 😀

  5. Tessa says:

    Lovely dish… So what makes the German and French duck breasts different? Is is a quality issue?

  6. Mad Dog says:

    You’ve been infected and will never be able to live anywhere but France…
    unless the Spanish get you 😉
    Great recipe 🙂

  7. ambrosiana says:

    This looks delicious!!

  8. Conor Bofin says:

    Funny, I got a couple of duck breasts here in Ireland a couple of weeks ago. I had exactly the same reaction. However, in my case, I was right to be wary. Poor quality and little flavour. Can’t wait to get back to France.

  9. You just appreciate great food. You sure make plenty of it. This is beautiful as always.

  10. It took me a while to detox after leaving France. It hasn’t completely left, but I no longer get the shakes from lack of high-quality ingredients 🙂

    Looks wonderful, Rosemary. I have always like vanilla in savory dishes. It’s a good reminder that it is a spice after all.

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