This roast duck recipe is so delicious and isn’t any more work than roasting a chicken! However, it does take longer in the oven – no harm in that, as it’s roasting you’re doing absolutely nothing except basting it the odd time. But I’ve found that ducks are deceptively small. A 1.8 Kilogram chicken, I would consider to be really big with enough meat to feed lots of people. But the duck that I roasted in this recipe was 2.4 Kg and just about served 2 of us. I think, the reason for this is that a duck’s skeleton might be bigger than a chicken’s. Also, ducks are fattier. This fat contributes to the weight of the bird but renders out during cooking so watch out for that as it can be misleading.
Even though a duck may not food as many people as a chicken, you will still get your money’s worth. Start by collecting the rendered fat from the roasting pan. This is delicious for roasting potatoes – something I only do once a year. You can also make a delicious stock with the carcass by boiling it away for a few hours with some vegetables and spices you like. True, you can also do this with a chicken carcass but there is a much better flavour from duck stock.
The sweet meat from roast duck goes really well with this sweet, tart sauce and is definitely worth doing, though maybe not for a big crowd.
- 3 red onions, thickly sliced
- 1 2.4Kg duck
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 pinch of sea salt flakes
- 1 orange, cut into 8 pieces
- 5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 3 star anise
- 15 cm of cinnamon
- 1 tsp of cloves
- 1 tsp of black peppercorns
- 500 ml of red wine
- 500 ml beef stock
- 1 tin of cherries
- Add the onions to a roasting tray and sit the duck on the onions. Rub 1 tbsp of olive oil onto the duck and sprinkle with 1 tbsp of sea salt flakes. Stuff the cavity with the orange segments.
- Transfer to a preheated oven at 200 degrees celsius and after 20 minutes turn the heat down to 180 degrees celsius for an hour and a half, basting every 20-30 minutes.
- To make the sauce, pour the balsamic vinegar into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the rosemary, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns and red wine.
- Bring it to the boil and allow it to reduce by 2 thirds.
- Add the beef stock, bring to the boil and allow to reduce by 2 thirds.
- Take it off the heat and set it aside until later.
- When the duck is done, remove it from the tray and set it aside to rest. Discard the red onion slices.
- With a gravy separator, separate the fat from the rest of the pan juices.
- As they are separating, heat a little of the syrup from the tin of cherries and add the drained cherries
- Add the red wine sauce from earlier but pour it through a sieve to catch the spices.
- Stir it up and try to break up and dissolve any burned on duck bits from around the edges.
- Slowly pour in the duck juices and taste to check for seasoning.
- Carve the duck and serve with the sauce poured over.