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Salty Roast Duck

Roast Duck with Poached Peaches

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This rich roast duck is beautifully balanced with the sweetness of the peaches.

  • Makes : 4-6 |
  • Difficulty:

  • Prep Time : 20 mins |
  • Cook Time : 1:40 hours
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1 duck, about 2 kg in weight
sea salt to season
olive oil
1 orange, unpeeled and quartered
2 bay leaves
an assortment of fresh herbs from the garden, such as celery leaves, thyme, lavender.

Poached Peaches

6 peaches
12 apricots (optional)
2 litres water
6 cups (1.2 kg) castor sugar
1 red chilli, roughly chopped
fresh herbs
1 small punnet blueberries (optional)

Remove the duck from the fridge 20 minutes before roasting.

Preheat the oven to 180 °C.

Season the inside of the cavity of the duck. Stuff the cavity with the orange quarters and the bay leaves. Lightly prick the skin of the duck all over, being careful not to pierce the flesh. Rub liberally with olive oil and season well with salt.

Top with a generous amount of herbs and secure the herbs, the legs and the wings by tying string around the duck.

Place the duck on a wire rack over a deep baking tray. The idea here is to catch all the duck fat as it cooks out, which you can then save for later use for making delicious, crispy roast potatoes.

Place in the oven for 1 hour. Remove, change to a fresh baking tray as the fat will begin to sputter and cause a messy oven.

Roast for further 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and rest for 10 minutes. Joint the duck and enjoy with the sweet peaches.

For the poached peaches:

Cut a shallow 2 cm cross in the base of each peach.

Break open the apricots, if using, but leave the pips in.

Place the water and sugar in a large saucepan set over low heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and bring to the boil for 10-15 minutes, until syrupy. Add the peaches. Cut a round piece of wax paper big enough to fit the saucepan. Cover the peaches with this, ensuring that they are covered by the syrup. Cook for 6-7 minutes, add the apricots (if using) and cook for a further 6-7 minutes until the fruit is soft to the touch. Remove the pan from the heat. Remove the fruit with a slotted spoon and allow to cool. Add the chilli to the syrup and allow to rest.

Serve the peaches with some of the chilli syrup, blueberries (if using) and some fresh herbs.

Variations:

The peaches can be served as a salad on a bed of rocket leaves, with crumbled feta cheese and a good drizzle of fresh lemon juice.

Remove the chillies and reserve the rest of the syrup for a lovely sauce over fruit salads and ice cream. Keep in a jam jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.