One of the things in the latest feedbag box was a whole duck. I’ve never cooked duck before, so I was a bit wary about this one, but it turned out tender, and moist, and extremely tasty. M, Mr Chocolate and I were all sitting around with very full bellies making happy yum noises for a good hour after polishing off all but a few scraps of the duck. Well, maybe I was making most of the noises. I’m like that.

Here’s how I cooked it.

Rinse the duck under cold running water, and dry with kitchen paper. Using a bamboo skewer, prick the skin of the duck every few centimeters so the fat can drain while the duck roasts. Cut off the last section of the wings, and the neck. I’ve put them away in the fridge, to make stock from tomorrow, along with the bones. Pop an onion, cut into quarters, into the duck’s bum, along with a few sprigs of sage, and use the skewer to close the cavity.

Duck, pre-oven

Washed, dried, and waiting for the next steps

Put the duck on a roasting rack over a pan, and pour a couple of cups of boiling water over the duck – this softens the fat and helps the skin crisp. When I did it, the skin tightened immediately under the water, and the duck went pink and plump-looking – it was fascinating.

Duck, ready to roast

Just about to go into the oven. Amazing how much more appetising it looks - to me, anyway.

I then rubbed a mix of preserved lemon and honey all over the duck, to help it brown. Next time, I think I’ll skip this step, or just use the lemon alone – the duck was brown and tasty, but slightly sweeter than I prefer. It’s up to you.

Roast your duck for about 3hrs at 180°, turning every half hour or so.  I put the vegies in to roast about 2 hours in, after parboiling them for about 10 minutes. Once the duck and veg are cooked, let the duck rest for 10 minutes, then carve.

Carving the duck

Carving the duck

While it’s resting, pour off the fat from the duck pan –  we ended up with about a metric cup full of duck fat, which we’ll keep in the fridge, and use (sparingly) for other tasty cooking. Use the remaining juices for gravy. I added a couple of cherry tomatoes, well squished, and some salt to mine, and thickened it with potato starch.

Carve, eat, and you too can make many yum noises.

Plated roast duck and vegies