Dishing Up the Dirt

Harvest Duck Stew

This is a special recipe. It’s a little more time consuming (though most of that time is hands off time) than many of my recipes,  but it’s so damn delicious and something that I will continue to prepare on special occasions. I’m a huge lover of duck and don’t eat it often but when I do, it’s always a welcome celebration of simple ingredients that are so damn flavorful and remind me that preparing good, honest food is what makes me the most happy. Taylor and I were lucky enough to finally meet the badass folks who own and operate Camp Fire Farms in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. They raise pasture pork, chicken and duck and we have been enjoying their meat for a few years now and it was such a treat to finally meet them a few weeks back when we picked up our order of bulk meat (which will keep us fed all winter long). This harvest duck stew is full of warming flavors that really hit the spot during these dark, cold winter months. I’m so excited to share this recipe with you all and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. With just a little planning ahead (you’ll want to prepare this in the morning or even the night before you plan to serve it) you’ll enjoy this lovely stew for a few good meals (it makes a lot!) Pair with some toasted sourdough bread, butter and a glass of your favorite house wine for a cozy date night in.

Harvest Duck Stew

Prep Time: 4 hours    Cook Time: 1 hour    Serves: 8-10

  • 2 medium sized yellow onions, one onion halved and the other finely chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, 2 left whole and 3 finely chopped
  • 10 allspice berries
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 whole duck (about 4 lbs) trimmed of excess fat and cut into 6 pieces (you can watch this video on how to cut/joint a whole duck)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 medium sized winter squash (about 2.5 lbs) (butternut, pumpkin, acorn, kabocha, etc) cut into 1/2 inch chunks (no need to peel)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (14 oz) jar of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup dry red wine (we used a Pinot Noir but a Syrah or Merlot would be great too!)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place the halved onion, whole garlic cloves, allspice berries, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and duck pieces in a large dutch oven or sauce pan. Add 9 cups of water. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook, skimming the foam from the surface occasionally, until the duck meat is falling off the bone, about 2 hours. Remove the pan from the heat, transfer the duck meat and bones to a bowl, and pour the stock through a fine strainer into a large bowl, discarding the solids. Let the stock and meat cool completely and then refrigerate both separately until chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Remove the congealed duck fat from the surface of the chilled stock (you want about 3 tablespoons here), place the fat in a large saucepan, and heat over medium. Add the finely chopped onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Add the cubed squash along with the oregano and a hefty pinch of salt and pepper. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes longer or until the onion and garlic are beginning to soften and become fragrant.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste and coat the veggies with the mixture. Add the jarred tomatoes along with the wine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, add the chilled duck stock and simmer until the winter squash is tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. Shred the duck meat from the bones, stir into the soup and cook until warmed through, about 3 minutes more.
  5. Divide between bowls and serve with a hunk of sourdough bread.


*Use this recipe as a guide and adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary

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