I haven’t roasted a duckling in ages and I do like a roast duck, so this is what I cooked last night.
The duckling weighed about 2 kg and I stabbed it all over with a fork, rubbed it with salt and roasted it on a rack at 180C for about an hour.
At this point, a lot of fat had run out of the bird and I poured this out and used it to roast some par-boiled Charlotte potatoes.
I also smeared a few spoonfuls of honey and marmalade over the duckling and returned it to the oven for another 45 minutes.
I’d already made stock with the giblets and some carrot, celery and onion, flavoured with sage and thyme and a good glug of Marsala.
When the bird was cooked, I removed it to rest while I made a sauce. I poured off the rest of the duck fat and added the stock to the roasting pan, stirring it over a medium heat to dissolve all the lovely sticky bits in the roasting tray. Then I sieved the enriched stock into a saucepan, added the juice of an orange and allowed it to reduce a bit before I thickened it with a little bit of cornflour paste.
I served the duckling with some petits pois à la française made with tinned petits pois and a quartered little gem heart in some duck stock and the roasted Charlotte potatoes.
We drank a nice claret with this, a 2011 Château Segonzac Premières Côtes de Blaye from Waitrose. This was a lovely wine, a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon with some nice oak ageing which worked well with the rich duck.