Sophie Grigson's crisp slow-roast duck

Sunday, 17 January 2010

I bought a duck crown around new year (couldn't let the offers go by) and I've been looking for a good roast duck recipe. My husband has never been a big fan of roast duck because most of the time they taste greasy and slimy, not crispy.

I found this one and decided to give it a try for lunch today and Oh my God! It was delicious. Athough I used duck crown instead of the duckling suggested and that the duck crown was supposed to serve 4 it only served the both of us because we kept coming for seconds and thirds. We have to admit this was the best roast duck we both had.

Here's the recipe.

1 duckling, around 2.3-2.7kg (5-6lb)

500g (1lb 2oz) turnips (we used potatoes, which we roasted on the duck fat with parsnips and carrots)
Salt and pepper


1 large carrot, diced
1 onion, chopped
2 sticks celery, diced
1 bottle fruity red wine
1 bouquet garni ( a few stalks of parsley, 2 good sprigs of thyme, 2 bay leaves, 1 small sprig sage tied together with string)
750ml (1 1/4pts) duck stock or chicken stock
2tbsp redcurrant jelly (I didn't have any so I skiped this step)

1.Pre-heat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7. Wipe the duck dry with kitchen paper. Prick the skin all over with a skewer, or a fork if the tines are sharp, so the fat can run out more easily as it cooks. Season generously with salt and pepper. Sit the duck on a rack over a roasting tin and slide it into the oven. Turn the heat down to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and leave it to cook for 2 1/2hrs.

2.During that time, all you need to do, whenever you feel like it, is drain off the fat that's gathered in the roasting tin (it's brilliant stuff for sautéing potatoes).

3.Once you've got your first crop of fat, take 1tbsp of it and heat in a frying pan. Add the carrot, onion and celery and sauté until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned. Now add the wine and the herb bundle.

4.Bring to the boil, stirring thoroughly, then boil hard until reduced by half. Add the stock and boil again until reduced by about a third to a half, giving a syrupy sauce. Stir in the redcurrant jelly until it has melted, then strain into a small pan. Add a little salt and pepper and simmer for about 2 mins. Taste and adjust seasoning. Re-heat when needed.

5.Peel the turnips (or in my case the potatoes, parsnips and carrots), cut into 2cm (3/4in) cubes and blanch in boiling water for three mins. Drain and run under the cold tap. Leave to drain thoroughly.

6.About 40 mins before the duck is done, drain off most of the fat, leaving a bit in the tin. Add the turnips and turn them in the fat, then leave to roast with the duck.

7.When the duck and turnips are cooked turn off the oven and leave the door open. Let them rest like this for about 15 mins.

8.Using a sharp knife or poultry shears, cut the duck into four pieces, cutting first from head to tail end, along the breastbone and through the backbone to give two halves, then dividing each half in two.

9.Serve quickly while still warm with the roast turnips and reheated sauce.


Panjoy said...

Sophie Grigson is such a great cook!

Maybe its of interest that a few hundred of her other recipes on the web are indexed on Panjoy - pick her name from the dropdown list thing, and only her recipes will be searched.

Cheers, Owen (Panjoy architect)

Steven Mullaney said...

I'm going to try this tonight, sounds lovely. Anymore ideas for the duck fat? At the moment I’m looking at Duck Fat roasted potatoes, although I did see an interesting duck fat mash potato idea. I’ll have a go with what you’ve suggested above but I don’t like turnips

Anonymous said...

Cooked duck tonight following your instructions it was delicious thanks, Patrick.

The Caked Crusader said...

Thanks for this - I've just bought a duck crown in Tesco cos it looked lovely and didn't really know what to do with it. Some recipes say 30mins which strikes me as insane!

Clai1794 said...

Great recipe,was super tasty! Only additional thing I did was add a tsp of cornflour in the form of a 'slurry' after the sauce had the jelly added, as it wasn't quite as thick as I'd like. Otherwise faultless, except maybe the duck was cooked ever so slightly too long and I would reduce the cooking time next time!

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