Legendary Dishes | Ostropel de Rață cu Mămăligă (duck stew with polenta)


Tomatoes have generally provided the medium for the traditional poultry stew in Moldova and Romania. Easily bought chicken legs are preferred to duck or goose or guinea fowl (which take longer to prepare and cook), and cook quickly in a thin tomato sauce.

We are keeping with tradition, and this means making a broth with the bones, neck and wings of the duck, excluding the skin.

An assortment of berries and herbs added to two litres of water should flavour the carcass, slow-cooked for two hours and finally reduced to produce a rich broth.

  • 1 duck, breasts, legs, thighs separated
  • 500 g tomatoes
  • 25 spring onions, thin sliced / 200 g onions, chopped small
  • 60 ml duck broth
  • 30 ml wine vinegar
  • 45 g flour seasoned with black pepper and salt
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Parsley, chopped, for garnish
  • Black pepper, large pinch
  • Salt, large pinch

Pour the olive oil into a large heavy-based frying pan, dredge duck pieces in the seasoned flour and brown evenly over a medium heat, set aside.

Add the onions to the pan, sauté for ten minutes, add the garlic, cook for five minutes.

Deglaze with the broth, increase heat and reduce for five minutes.

Add the tomatoes, bay leaf and peppercorns, bring mixture to the boil. Reduce heat, stir and simmer for ten minutes.

Place duck pieces back into the pan with the thyme, cover and simmer over lowest heat until the meat is tender, about 40 minutes, turning the pieces several times.

Ten minutes before the end of cooking, add the vinegar.

Serve with the polenta.

Indigenous Ingredients