The other day that I was chatting with a friend while shopping and noticed that duck was on offer. It had been a long time since I enjoyed fresh duck. Sure, I have had crispy duck, Peking duck and other such treats but not the joy of a good home-cooked roast duck.
To me simple food is always the best. If it is too complex one sometimes feels let down. You know, you plan an event, you get the ingredients, go over and over making sure that all is right. Then as you serve it, you feel somehow deflated.
Not this time. When I roast a duck, the aromas always tantalize my, and the taste of the cooked bird is, simply put, amazing.
1 large orange
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
3 sticks celery
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
½ cup of sweet corn
1 teaspoon fresh chopped chives
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon white pepper
Peel, core and chop the apples; place them in a pot with a ¼ cup of water; bring to a boil and cook through. Once cooked mash the apples and set to one side.
Chop up one onion and place in a large bowl; add all remaining ingredients except the duck and one onion and blend together to form a dry bread mix. Add the cooked apples to this and mix thoroughly.
Wash the duck thoroughly, then dry and place it in an oven-proof dish (bowl??). Peel the remaining onion and place inside the duck. Stuff the bread crumb mixture into the duck, filling opening until the stuffing spills out. Pour 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over the bird, then flavour with a pinch of salt and fresh-ground black pepper. Slice the orange in two and put both halves into the pan with the duck.
Place in your pre-heated oven (350 C) and cook until the temperature in the thigh reaches 165 F; You can usually allow 20 minutes per pound for this.
Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Carve and enjoy.
Go on, buy a duck and treat yourself. It will be worth the effort.
(Useful tip: duck fat is excellent for cooking. Try and save some from your pan)