Roast Local Duck with Caramelised Apples

Roast Local Duck with Caramelised Apples © Kevin Ashton 2005

*Here’s another recipe first published in my Sunday newspaper column.

I try to make the style of my recipes reader friendly and achievable, not a slave to fashion or fads. In other words if I think a dish needs more than a smear of sauce then that is what I will give it.  I hope to attract the widest possible audience and make quality ingredients my focus; locally sourced whenever they are available.

This new blog has been launched for just over 1 month and so far has received 56,491 hits (about 900 people a day, viewing 1.7 pages on average so a big thanks to all of you). And my followers via networkedblogs has just crept past the 51,000 mark!

I also want to engage my readership more and make this blog feel like a place they can come for great recipes that work plus friendly advice. The combination of fruit and meat is very old one and I’d love to learn more about its origins, if anyone out there wants to share.

Ingredients (serves 4)
1 x 2.5 kilo (approximately) Fresh duck including giblets
3 Granny Smith apples
1 Spanish onion roughly chopped
2 peeled carrots roughly chopped
40 grams butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp tomato puree
2 Tbsp plain flour
75 grams castor sugar
1 litre chicken stock
1.5 Tbsp grain mustard

  1. Preheat oven 200 C gas mark 6.
  2. In a non stick frying pan melt 25 grams butter then fry the giblets, half the onion, the carrots until well browned. Transfer the giblets to a saucepan and add the stock,tomato puree, bay leaf and simmer gently.
  3. Roughly cut up 1 apple and put inside the duck cavity together with the remaining half onion.
  4. Rub the olive oil into the duck then season inside and out with salt & pepper.
  5. Roast on the middle shelf starting first breast side up for half an hour then turn the duck breast side down for 1 hour or until the juices run clear.
  6. Transfer the duck to an oven proof dish and keep warm in a cool oven 100 C (gas mark 1 ).
  7. Pour off most of the duck fat *(and keep) then place the roasting pan over a low heat and stir in the flour, then gradually add the stock stirring well. Transfer the gravy back to the saucepan and simmer on a low gas and season with salt & pepper.
  8. Cut remaining 2 apples straight down into 8 wedges each, then cut out as much of the core from each wedge.
  9. Cook the apple wedges in a 50 ml water & 15 grams butter for 5 minutes on a medium high heat & then drain into another dish.
  10. Gently heat the sugar in the saucepan on a medium heat until it begins to caramelise. When its nicely brown remove from the heat and add the apples & 1/2 tablespoon of grain mustard and keep warm.
  11. Strain the gravy to remove vegetables etc then add the remaining grain mustard. If the gravy has reduced too much add a little extra stock.  Carve the duck & serve with a few of the apple wedges.

Chef’s Tips
Whenever you’re roasting meat always baste it from time to time, it does make a difference! Serve your duck with small baked potatoes topped with sour cream & chives and a good portion of green beans. If you prefer your duck skin crispy, sprinkle a little salt lightly over the cooked duck then carefully crisp the skin under a hot grill. When carving remove both legs first then carve the breast. *The saved duck fat (dripping) will keep for at least a week in the fridge so perhaps try cooking your Sunday roast potatoes in it….mmmm!

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