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I have some chicken stock that I've made, that I want to use as a base for a sauce for some duck. I am roasting the duck bones at the moment and will simmer them in the chicken stock for a while.

If I want to add red wine to this should I reduce the red wine first then add the duck/chicken broth and reduce further, add red wine to the broth and reduce at the same time or reduce the broth and add red wine then reduce that. Or not reduce at all? What would be the consequences of each?

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consider revising the title -- 'duck sauce' is a specific asian condiment that doesn't typically contain wine : en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duck_sauce –  Joe Jul 22 '10 at 12:15

4 Answers 4

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Your question makes me think of demi-glace. From your question, I would say that you're trying to get a nice shiny thick sauce for your duck, one that tastes of red wine.

If that's your goal, I would recommend you

  1. Reduce your stock down until it's about the total volume of liquid that you're going to want. The stock reduction should be roughly the consistency you want your final sauce to be.

  2. Add an equal volume of wine

  3. Reduce down to desired consistency (so about by half).

This will give you a lovely sauce, with lots of that sticky goodness that reduced stocks deliver so nicely.

You might do this with all of your stock, then freeze cubes of unused sauce for later; they make a great addition to other bases.

Left-over alcohol is not going to be an issue here, by the way, you'll have long since boiled/simmered it off.

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p.s. Adding some fruity flavors at the end to the reduction would be nice. Orange peel, currants, etc. Do those toward the end if you like that plan. –  Peter V Jul 22 '10 at 14:48
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freezing in cube trays is a huge time saver and a great way to quickly pull together a sauce –  crtjer Jul 24 '10 at 5:12

If this is a full duck, I would suggest doing 1qt of stock, 1 bottle of wine and reduce it by half. For the wine may I suggest a Chianti as well as it should go great with your duck. Since you will be slowly reducing this sauce and for a learning experience every 5 minutes give it a taste. This will help you when you make other sauces to gauge times and thickness to what the actual sauce will be.

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My hunch would be if you want to play it safe, it might make sense to reduce first so you can taste it and make sure it's about the flavor you want in sweetness. Then you can add slowly while testing the sauce.

Keep in mind that you'll probably reduce the sauce further, so it's like adding too much salt too early in a sauce and having the end result be too salty.

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If you're trying to cook away the alcohol, you'll need to reduce the wine first, and then add the stock, and reduce further.

Mixing the two together first, or reducing the stock first will not remove as much alcohol, although it may be that you prefer having the alcohol in there.

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