I don’t have much experience with cooking duck so thought I would start off by trying roasting. I used this recipe from Thomasina Miers for Chinese-style roast duck with plum sauce for the initial meal. As if by magic I had exactly half a kilo of plums in the freezer leftover from last August’s harvest.
Ingredients: spice mix 2tsp peppercorns; 2-3 tsp ground cinnamon; 3 star anise; 1 tsp cloves; 2tbsp sea salt. For roasting 10 cm ginger; two bashed garlic cloves; one very free-range, super happy duck. Plum sauce: 450g plums; 4tbs dark brown sugar; 1/2 tsp of the spice mix; 2tbsp soy sauce; 1tbsp red-wine vinegar.
Toast the whole spices, then grind and mix with the cinnamon.
Rub the inside of the duck with salt (I may have forgotten to do this!) and then some of the spice mix. Also rub the outside of the duck with spice mix. Leave it for the rest of the day – somewhere safe from cats – somewhere like a fridge for example!
Slice half the ginger and put inside the duck with the two garlic cloves. Preheat oven to 200c and roast for 20 minutes. Pour off the duck fat and save it. Reduce heat to 170 and roast for another 70 minutes regularly pouring off and saving the duck fat. Once cooked let it rest for a while.
To make the sauce, put the plums and the rest of the ingredients into a pan with a splash of water and the rest of the ginger roughly chopped up. Simmer for ages until it looks like a thick sauce. Push through a sieve.
Slice the duck and serve with rice, plum sauce and salad from the garden.
Right now my salad leaves – lettuce, rocket and herbs – are doing well – this will all change as it gets warmer – I am rubbish at growing salad after about June. Maybe this year I will crack it though.
The next day I picked all the meat off the duck carcass and mixed it with leftover plum sauce and we had it with wraps.
I may also have had a little lunch of fried duck liver and heart, pan deglazed with balsamic vinegar and a spoonful of hedgerow jelly added for sweetness – served with yet more salad.
And of course I made a huge batch of stock with the carcass. It is now frozen and I am waiting for some peas from the garden to make a duck broth and pea risotto – among other dishes. Suggestions for good uses for the duck stock would be very much appreciated.
And the duck fat – currently sitting in my fridge. I need to sort this into a clean jar and then it will wait until the potatoes are ready and we can feast on duck-fat roasted potatoes.