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Venezia: Food and Dreams
by Tessa Kiros
‘Anatra in padella con acciughe e capperi

Cutting up a duck is not as easy as cutting up a chicken.. .so you might want to ask your butcher to do it for you. Cut it in half first, & then cut each half into four pieces. If your duck looks terribly fatty, then cut some of that away. You may need to singe away any bits of feather, too—scrape away the remnants with a sharp knife. You will need a large nonstick skillet with high sides & a lid that fits well—& even better if you can take it straight to the table for serving. This is lovely with radicchio in padella & roast potatoes.
Serves 4


    • 1 (3-pound) duck, cut into 8 pieces
    • 1 white onion, chopped
    • 1 ounce sweet pancetta, chopped
    • 6 large anchovy fillets in olive oil, drained
    • 2 tablespoons capers in vinegar, drained
    • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 2 teaspoons finely
    • chopped rosemary
    • 2 teaspoons chopped sage leaves
    • 1½ cups white wine


Dry-fry the duck pieces in a large nonstick skillet until brown on all sides, then season with salt & pepper (not too much salt as you'll have anchovies in the sauce).

Transfer the duck pieces onto a plate, & add the onion to the duck fat in the skillet. Cook until pale golden, then add the pancetta & anchovies, mashing them into the oil with a wooden spoon. When they have melted & the pancetta is softened, add the capers, garlic, rosemary, & sage.

When you can smell the garlic, return the duck to the skillet & add the wine. Cover with the lid & simmer for almost an hour, then add about 1/2 cup of water. Cook for another 20 minutes, then remove the lid & turn the duck pieces. Simmer for a further 10 to 15 minutes to get a glossy, sticky sauce in the skillet. The duck should be golden brown & very tender—check with a fork.


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