Tom used two mallard, chopping up the breasts from one to add to the stuffing. However, the breasts from a pheasant work well, too ? they carry the other flavours of the stuffing without being too strong. Add in the pheasant or mallard livers to increase the richness of the stuffing. Change the spices if you?d like, though avoid using the same flavours that were in the rillettes. This duck deserves a good bottle of claret.
? One red onion, chopped finely
? Two teaspoons of sugar
? Two tablespoons of chestnut mushrooms, roughly chopped
? One apple
? Six walnuts
? 10 chestnuts
? The livers and hearts from duck and pheasant
? Two pheasant breasts
? One clove of garlic, chopped
? Half a tablespoon of chopped sage
? One pinch of mixed spice
? One handful of fresh breadcrumbs
? Zest of one orange
? One egg, beaten
? Half a glass of sherry
? Salt and pepper
? One mallard
? Olive oil
1. Soften the onion in a large knob of butter. Add the sugar and continue to fry for a few minutes. Tip into a large mixing bowl.
2. Fry the mushrooms in another knob of butter until just cooked, then add to the bowl. Chop the apple, nuts and meat into 1⁄2cm cubes and add to the bowl with the garlic, sage, spice, breadcrumbs and zest. Beat in the egg and sherry and season well.
3. Use this mix to stuff the mallard, but be careful not to overstuff it ? if you do, it will overcook. Leave 1⁄2cm of space at the top of the cavity. Pour a liberal amount of olive oil over the bird and rub with three teaspoons of salt and a good grinding of pepper. Place in the oven, and baste after 20 minutes and then every 10-15 minutes.
4. Once the mallard has cooked for an hour, remove from the oven, cover in two layers of foil and put several tea towels over the foil to keep the bird warm while it is resting. Leave to rest for at least half an hour. Serve with a game gravy, roast potatoes and Brussels sprouts.