Some argue that cooking sous-vide is better, but for me it cannot compare to oven-roast or pan-roasted in terms of flavour. Whole roast duck is a more unusual choice than chicken or beef, because it’s not so widely available in supermarkets: but if you can seek out a great quality, whole duck, all you need to do is season it and bung it in the oven. I bought mine from the Cornish Duck Co, which won the award for best producer at the BBC Food and Farming Awards 2019.
Prep time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 1 hour 50 minutes, plus resting
- ½ bulb of garlic, peeled
- Leaves from 2 sprigs of rosemary
- 1 orange, zest grated and the rest of the skin and flesh chopped
- Grated nutmeg
- 2 tbsp sea salt
- 1 whole, oven-ready duck weighing approximately 2kg
- A small handful of rosemary and thyme sprigs
- Preheat the oven to 240C/220C fan/Gas 9.
- Chop the garlic and rosemary together on a board, then add the grated orange zest and chop again. Place in a bowl, add a good grating of nutmeg along with the salt and some freshly ground black pepper, and mix well. Spread this all over the duck.
- Stuff the herb sprigs and the orange flesh into the duck cavity.
- Place the duck on a wire rack set over a large oven tray so the fat from the duck can drip into the tray (a tip I learned from Delia Smith – if you don’t have a wire rack, then place crumpled foil under the bird and tip away the fat during the cooking process).
- Place in the oven for 20 minutes then turn the oven down to 200C/180C fan/Gas 6 and continue to roast for a further hour and a half.
- Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 20 minutes before carving and serving with buttered hispi cabbage and crushed chestnuts.