Saute the duck pieces in the lard until browned. Remove from pan and set aside. Add the chopped onion, carrots, celery, shallots, and garlic and brown lightly. When the vegetables are golden brown, add the duck along with the wine, chicken broth, tomato paste, allspice, bay leaves, thyme, and seasoning. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, blanch the diced slab bacon in boiling water for 10 minutes and drain. Steam the pearl onions for 15 minutes. Cut off the stems and dice the mushrooms into large pieces.
Remove the duck from the stew and discard the bones. Put the sauce and vegetables through a food mill and return to the pot, adding the diced bacon, button mushrooms, pearl onions, and the duck. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 more minutes.
To make the croutons, cut the crusts from 10 slices of bread, and cut each slice into 4 triangles. Brown them in hot oil and keep warm. Serve the stew on individual plates, and arrange the warm croutons around the edges. Accompany with fresh pasta.
This dish may be made one day in advance and reheated. Red wine may be substituted for white.
Recipe courtesy "A la Table des Rois" by Marie-Blanche de Broglie
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