Recipe for roast wild duck with orange glaze and watercress

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 wild duck or a 2.3kg oven-ready duck, dry plucked if possible

50ml brandy

1 organic orange

Sprig of thyme

Salt and pepper

Sauce

3-4 tbsp caster sugar

100ml Grand Marnier

100ml orange juice

Salt and pepper

Meat juices from tin

Method for roast wild duck with orange glaze and watercress

You can prepare the ducks the day before if you wish. Put the birds into a colander and pour over a kettle full of boiling water – this helps to loosen the fat. Drain and dry with kitchen paper really well inside and out. Brush them with the plum brandy – alcohol helps to dry out the skin, giving you a crispier finish.

Hang the ducks up by the wings with a plate underneath in a place where a) they won’t be attacked by the cat and b) there is a cool breeze, the air helps to keep the ducks really dry. If you don’t have anywhere like this put them uncovered into the fridge. This can all be done one day in advance but they must be left hanging for a minimum of six hours.

When you are ready to cook the ducks, put a grill rack into a roasting tin. Peel the orange and cut the flesh in half.

This wild duck recipe from Amy Willcock is perfect if you have any wild duck to spare.

Season the inside of the duck with salt and pepper and stuff in the orange peel and flesh and thyme. Put the ducks on to the grill rack and prick the skin with a fork. Brush on the brandy.

Slide the tin into a pre-heated oven (180°C) and cook for 1-1¼ hours, until the duck is cooked and the skin is super crispy. If you are cooking one larger duck it may take two hours. Drain the fat about every 30 minutes or so and reserve for roast potatoes!

When the birds have finished cooking, remove them from the oven and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes. Then cut it into 6 pieces each – cut off each breast and cut in two then remove the legs. Do not throw out the tin juices or clean the tin.

Put the duck pieces in to a shallow dish and add 2-3 tbsp of chicken or duck stock. Set aside.

How to make the sauce for the wild duck

In the same tin as the duck was cooked in, add the sugar and bubble for two or three minutes to colour and dissolve. Add the Grand Marnier and cook for another couple of minutes then add the orange juice and meat juices. Bubble for another 2-3 minutes. It will be very sweet and may need salt. Pour into a bowl. Up to this point all the cooking of the duck and sauce can be done one day in advance.

When you are ready to serve the wild duck, spoon over the sauce – about a tablespoon of it onto each piece of duck. Put the duck back into the oven for 10 minutes. Serve with watercress and orange salad and some crispy sautéed potatoes.

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