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Roast spiced duck with winter greens recipe

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I’ve been utilizing spent gin botanicals to make this dish with goose and duck, however you might not have a pleasant distillery close by the place you may name in a favour… so chop up some juniper, bay, cloves, dried orange peel and cardamom seeds, or no matter spices you fancy.


Prep time: 2 hours 20 minutes, plus 48 hours chilling

Cooking time: 40 minutes




  • 1 x 1.2-1.5kg duck, with the legs separated from the physique and thigh bones rigorously eliminated (ask your butcher to do that)

For the breasts

  • 3-4 tbsp gin botanicals or your favorite spices, chopped
  • 3-4 tbsp clear honey

For the confit legs

  • a small piece of cinnamon stick
  • 6 juniper berries, chopped
  • ½ tbsp coriander seeds
  • ½ tbsp white peppercorns
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  •  a couple of sprigs of thyme
  • 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 200g duck or goose fats


  1. Begin a few days earlier than you need to serve. If the pores and skin of the duck is moist, pat it dry with some kitchen paper. Coarsely grind up the entire spices for the breasts with half a tablespoon of sea salt in a grinder or mini meals chopper.
  2. With a heavy knife, take away the spine from the duck, leaving the breasts on the carcass. Take away the wings (reserve these and the cleaned-up spine for inventory or soup). Rating the pores and skin of the duck breasts with a pointy knife, then rub within the honey and pack the spice combine all throughout the pores and skin, urgent it in together with your arms. Place the duck crown on a tray and depart within the fridge for a pair days, uncovered, to permit it to set and dry.
  3. Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan/fuel mark 3. Organize the duck legs and any bits of fats and pores and skin snugly in a tight-fitting ovenproof pan or small casserole with a lid. Reduce a bit of muslin about 20cm sq., put all of the herbs and spices for the legs into it, and tie it with string to make a bag. Put it in with the duck legs.
  4. Soften the duck or goose fats and pour over to cowl the legs. Season with salt. Slowly carry the fats to the boil. Switch to the oven and cook dinner the legs gently with the lid on for 1½-2 hours.
  5. Take a look at the legs by eradicating one: the meat must be very smooth and tender and the leg nonetheless intact. Ideally, depart the legs to chill within the fats earlier than placing them within the fridge. You can too maintain the fats within the fridge to make use of for roast potatoes or a confit one other time. This will all be accomplished on the identical day because the breasts are ready.
  6. On the day you want to serve, preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/fuel mark 7 and permit the duck crown and legs to return as much as room temperature. Place each on a roasting tray and roast for 35-40 minutes, then depart to relaxation earlier than carving.
  7. You possibly can carve the duck on the bone or utterly take away the breasts; for sharing I choose to carve slices off the breast as and when throughout the meal.
  8. That is good with blended winter greens comparable to kale, or you may even flake the confit legs into some salad leaves tossed in a great French dressing.

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