Confession – this wasn’t a very cheap meal, but I’ve never cooked duck before and wanted to give it a go. Duck is much more expensive than chicken – my duck crown cost £6.50, only about a pound or two less than a whole free range chicken would have cost me, and I could get four meals for the two of us out of that, plus stock. There’s a lot less eating in a duck so it’s not as good value for money.
It was a nice treat though and I picked enough meat off of the carcass to just about do us another meal (I’m thinking of something like a stir-fry – I wanted to do it with hoisin and wraps but I’m not sure if there’s enough duck for that), so it wasn’t too hideously expensive. Oh and I did make some nice stock out of the bones, so will need to think of something to do with that.
Since it was the first time I’d cooked duck, I kept it safe and roasted it to the packet directions to well done – I know you can eat duck pink in the middle, but this was very tasty and the skin was lovely and crisp. I served with green beans, mashed potatoes and roast carrot and sweet potatoes (I had the genius idea to roast them in some of the duck fat, which was so worth it), plus a gravy made with white wine, pan juices and chicken stock, thickened with cornflour. Online recipes did suggest red wine, which may have been nicer, but I didn’t have any so made do with what I had in.
- 1 duck crown (mine was 1kg), seasoned with salt and pepper
- 450g potatoes, peeled and cut in half
- Small pat butter
- Splash of milk
- 2-3 small carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1/2 pack green beans
- 1/2 sweet potato, cut into cubes
- 2 tsp cornflour
- Glass of wine (I used white but red would be better I think)
- Same amount or a little more of chicken stock (or duck stock if you have any left from the last time you made duck…)
Preheat the oven to 220C. Heat a large frying pan to a medium heat, and put the duck crown in upside down – no need to oil as it;s so fatty anyway. Allow to cook for 4-5 minutes, then remove and put into a roasting tin the right way up, saving the fat from the frying pan. Pop into the oven and cook – the packaging said to cook for 5 minutes per 100g, which was 55 minutes for my duck.
While the duck is cooking, prepare the veg. Boil the potatoes until tender in salted water (around 25 minutes). then mash well with the butter, milk and some salt and pepper.
Toss the cubed carrot and sweet potato in the reserved duck fat, season and roast in a baking tray until tender and slightly charred on the edges – I left mine in for about 25 minutes, but they weren’t massive chunks. Towards the end of the duck’s cooking time, I also boiled the green beans in salted water.
Once the duck has finished cooking, let it sit for ten minutes before carving – I used this time to mash the potatoes and make the gravy. Spoon most of the excess fat from the tin, leaving the brown juices in, and heat the tin over a medium heat. Stir in the cornflour, then the wine and stock. Cook, stirring often, until reduced and thickened, then strain through a sieve into a jug.
Slice the duck breast meat and serve over the mash with the veg and gravy,