Everyone loves duck, but many people are unsure of how to cook it best. I hope this very simple recipe makes it easier, served with a classic orange sauce and silverbeet stuffed with saltbush. Peter Kuruvita's Coastal Kitchen
- 2 x 2.2 kg free-range ducks, cleaned thoroughly
- 150 g salt bush
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- Olive oil, for rubbing
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 500 ml (2 cups) chicken or duck stock
- 250 ml (1 cup) brandy
- 4 blood oranges, juiced
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 375 ml (1½ cups) honey
- 3 slices blood orange
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced and each slice cut in halves
- 2 oranges, thinly sliced and each slice cut in halves
- 100 g pomegranate seeds
- 20 g pomegranate and mint tea, wrapped in muslin
- 50 g butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 bunch silverbeet, finely sliced
- 100 g saltbush, finely sliced
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 50 g (⅓ cup) toasted pine nuts
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time: 15 min
Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Place a rack inside a large roasting pan and pour in enough cold water to just come up to the rack.
Using paper towels, pat dry the ducks inside and out. Combine the salt bush, carrot, onion and celery in a bowl, then stuff into the duck cavities. Rub all over with a little olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Sit the ducks on the rack, then roast for 2¼ hours, turning the ducks over every 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and rest in a warm place for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, for the sauce, place the stock, brandy, juices, honey and citrus slices and a few of the pomegranate seeds in a saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally for 30 -45 minutes or until the liquid is slightly syrupy. Add the tea wrapped in muslin and steep for a further 5 minutes. Strain the sauce, discard the solids and return to the pan. Simmer until reduced to a sauce consistency. Reduce the heat to very low, then whisk in the butter until melted and emulsified- be careful not to boil the sauce or it will split.
For the silverbeet, just before serving, heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan over medium heat. Add the silverbeet, salt bush and garlic. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes or just until tender. Stir in the pine nuts.
To serve, using poultry shears, cut each duck into 4 pieces and divide among serving plates with the silverbeet. Spoon a generous amount of sauce around the duck, scatter with pomegranate seeds and micro cress.