Sunday roast: Roast duck with piquant plum and apple sauce recipePosted by Fiona Nevile in Duck Goose and Turkey | 9 comments
We were both working at the weekend so a trip to the new butcher in Fordham wasn’t an option. But we did wake on Sunday to home cured bacon slowly cold smoked for 36 hours over apple wood in our inglenook chimney. Our sitting room is unheated at the moment so long, cold smoking is viable, Sometimes cutting back on the heating reaps real dividends!
But we had no joint for the Sunday roast.
“I’m happy to eat Spaghetti Bolognaise. We don’t need to roast a joint every Sunday.” Danny cut a forkful of bacon and topped it with a grilled tomato before he glanced up to see my reaction.
We have dropped the Friday night steaks but he knows that I would be beaten into a corner before I’d consider not having a Sunday roast. It’s a ritual, the blow out of the week. And as Danny usually cooks - it’s a night off from the rock face for me.
On the main weekly shopping trip I drifted down the supermarket shelves looking for something tempting. I found a plump duck, on offer and much cheaper than their free range chicken ‘cousins’. A duck has far less meat than a chicken so our duck wasn’t a real economy. But I was keen to roast the duck stuffed with plums since reading Anna’s comment on our Duck with a fresh Plum Sauce recipe. I also love eating duck, every now and then.
Danny eyes lit up when I revealed the duck in my basket and he was even more smiley when I told him that I wanted to cook.
Yesterday I discovered how to roast a duck with crispy skin. There seems to be four pointers:
- Air dry your duck for 24 hours (too late. But will try next time)
- Scald the duck skin with boiling water
- Prick the duck all over with a pointed fork (I used our carving fork)
- Hang the duck in the oven to roast or put it in a roasting rack (we have a rack and our oven isn’t big enough to hang a bird bigger than a quail)
But what about keeping the flesh succulent? I reckon that there's a fifth pointer. Stuff your duck to capacity with fruit. It could be plums, prunes, apricots or apples. Mango or pineapple would be good too. At the end of roasting these fruit can be whizzed into a sauce with seconds with a stick blender. They will match your roast well. The duck is infused with the fruit and the fruit is infused with the meat juices and flavours. It’s a two way street.
We got crispy skin and succulent flesh. I used Victoria plums from the freezer. Placed in a mini Bain Marie for five minutes to defrost. I sealed the vent with a medium cooking apple fresh from the garden. Simple, easy good food.
Roast duck with piquant plum and apple sauce recipe
Ingredients for roasting:
- 1 duck, 2-3 kilos (4-6 lbs)
- Plums to fill the cavity (we used eight Victoria plums unfrozen from the freezer)
- 1 medium cooking apple (Bramleys are best)
- Lashings of black pepper
- 0.5 tsp of soy sauce
Ingredients for the sauce:
- The fruit from the cavity of the bird
- 1 tsp of brown sugar
- 0.5 tsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp of water (white wine would be good as an alternative).
Preheat your oven to 200c (180c fan)
- Scald your duck with boiling water and dry with a clean towel or paper towel.
- Fill the cavity with plums. Finish off with a cooking apple at the vent. Secure the skin with a cocktail stick so that all cavity ingredients are contained.
- Roast for 1.75 to 2 hours (middle of the oven). Baste occasionally. Remove the duck to a warm place to relax for twenty minutes while you cook your vegetables.
- Scrape out the fruit from the cavity and pulverise using a stick blender (or pass through a sieve) . Add the soy sauce and water/white wine and put in a warm place.
We devoured this with potatoes roasted in duck fat, Savoy cabbage and fresh local carrots. Perfect.
And as the giblets simmered in the slow cooker we tossed in our bones after the meal. Danny is planning duck soup (Marx Brothers) with the stock and leftovers.
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