Pato con judías a la catalana (Catalan duck with beans)

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This recipe requires preparation in advance!

Catalan style duck with haricot beans. Ideally, preparation should be started the day before you want to serve it. Hazelnuts are frequently used in north-east Spain, whereas in the south, almonds are more popular.

Pato con judías a la catalana (Catalan duck with beans)
Ground nuts and saffron
Servings:Serves 4
Calories per serving:949
Ready in:5 hours
Prep. time:30 minutes
Cook time:4 hours 30 minutes
Recipe author:JuliaBalbilla
First published:27th October 2012

Best recipe review

This is perfect for Christmas Dinner perfection


Lots of preparation, but it's definitely worth it.


Ground nuts and saffron


Printable 🖨 shopping 🛒 list & 👩‍🍳 method for this recipe


Day 1

  1. Season and sprinkle the herbs all over the duck.
  2. Cover the top of it with the bacon.
  3. Roast at 180 C/350 F/Gas 4 for around 2 hours 30 minutes. The duck should be roasted in a tin with a rack and covered with foil.
  4. After the allotted time, remove foil and drain off all the fat from the duck into the tin and pour the contents of the tin into a jug.
  5. Remove the bacon and throw away.
  6. When completely cold leave the duck and the jug in the fridge overnight.
  7. If using dried beans, also allow them to soak in water overnight.

Day 2

  1. Using scissors, take the duck and cut off the parson's nose and the flap of skin at the neck end.
  2. Cut the duck in half lengthways and remove all excess fat and as many bones as possible. The latter may take some time and you will need a certain amount of patience. Try to stick to using scissors for this task, only using a knife if absolutely necessary.
  3. When this is done cut each half into two and place in a baking tin (again with a rack) until ready to use.
  4. You may notice that some of the duck's underside looks rather uncooked. Do not worry about this.
  5. The jug should now have a firm layer of fat on the top. Take 2-3 tablespoons of this and melt in a largish saucepan. Any fat remaining in the jug can be kept for other purposes or be thrown away as you wish.
  6. Gently fry the carrots, onions and garlic until the onions are just golden.
  7. Add the tomato, the jelly left in the jug, red wine, bay leaves, stock and the dried, soaked haricot beans if using. Cover, bring to the boil then allow to simmer for an hour.
  8. If you are using canned beans, simmer the mixture uncovered until the carrots are just cooked, then add the beans and heat through.
  9. In the meantime, roast the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan or oven and the skin them as best you can. You can tip the hot nuts into a dry tea towel and using the towel, rub off the skins. Alternatively. pour boiling water over them, then cold and quickly pinch off the skins. If using this method, then lightly toast the skinned nuts afterwards.
  10. Grind the hazelnuts, pine nuts and saffron together in a coffee grinder. If you are doing this in a mortar, it is easier to grind them separately then mix together as they all require differing amount of pressure.
  11. When the beans have heated through, add the nuts and saffron to the beans and vegetables in the saucepan and leave to simmer uncovered. The sauce should become very thick, but if it is too thick, add a little more stock.
  12. Heat the oven to 230 C/450 F/Gas 8 and re-roast the duck until the skin is well browned and crisp. Any uncooked undersides should be now be properly cooked.
  13. Serve the duck pieces on plates or on a serving dish and surround it with the sauce. Do not be tempted to pour it over the duck, or it will lose its crispness.

Serving suggestions

This is quite a substantial dish, so I would avoid serving it with potatoes. A side dish of vegetables would be ideal.


If available, gosling would make an acceptable substitute for the duck.

Chef's notes

If you cannot be fiddled to mess around cutting up the duck, you could use duck breast or legs but you would not be left with as much jelly and juices, in which case the stock quantity will increase and may need to be made a little stronger. --JuliaBalbilla 07:17, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

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