CHERRY ROAST DUCK
“Excess fat removed from the cavity can be rendered and reserved for another use. Use the duck fat poured from the roasting tin to roast potatoes to serve alongside the duck. If you prefer duck breasts mediumrare, remove them from the duck before cooking. Score the skin and lay them in a cold frying pan, skin-side down, and cook for 6-7 minutes over medium-high heat until the skin is crisp and the fat renders. Turn and sear the other side. Put the breasts in the oven with the rest of the duck for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Serve with a radicchio salad dressed with a sherry vinaigrette, to cut through the richness, and duck fat-roasted potatoes. If cherries are out of season, use frozen cherries instead.” You will need a meat thermometer for this recipe.
1 orange 1 whole duck, about 2kg
garlic bulb, cloves separated, bruised 10 thyme sprigs 350g cherries, pitted
cup (185ml) full-bodied red wine 2 eschalots, thinly sliced 1 fresh bay leaf 1 tsp sherry vinegar
Preheat the oven to 220°C (fan-forced). Remove and reserve three strips of peel from the orange using a peeler, then juice half of the orange and reserve. Chop the remaining half of the orange for stuffing the duck.
Remove excess fat from around the duck cavity (reserve for rendering for another use if you like). Pat the duck dry inside and out with paper towel. Season generously inside and out with salt and pepper, and stuff the cavity with the chopped orange, the garlic and half the thyme.
Prick the skin of the duck breast all over with a skewer (this helps to render the fat from the duck, but make sure you don’t pierce the flesh). Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Lay the duck, breast-side up, on a wire rack set over a roasting tin and roast for 30 minutes or until the skin is starting to brown. Pour off any fat that pools in the tin (strain and reserve for another use such as duck-fat potatoes). Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C.
Carefully remove the rack with the duck and set aside. Put the cherries, wine eschalot, reserved orange zest and juice, bay leaf and remaining thyme into the roasting tin, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
Return the wire rack with the duck over the roasting tin and roast for 45-50 minutes until the duck is just cooked: a thermometer inserted into the thigh should read 70°C and the juice should run clear. Remove the duck, cover loosely with foil and set aside to rest for 15-20 minutes.
Add the vinegar to the cherry mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the duck with the cherry sauce.
Cherry roast duck