Honey Roasted Duck
This recipe is of Mediterranean origin and did not need any modifications to become gluten free. Duck is a fairly good choice too as it has strong digestive system, digest gluten nearly fully and has practically no residual gluten in the meat, especially when compared to turkey or chicken.
Ingredients - Feeds 6-8
- One duck, cleaned and washed. If the duck was sold with giblets, they will be used separately for soup. As this a Mediterranean recipe, the vile and disgusting abuse of meat known as gravy sauce is off the cards. Make sure that the duck did not have its "bottom" removed. If the duck supplier had this rather idiotic idea, this will prevent us from stuffing it properly and it will not be able to hold the suffing.
- One large quince. If quince is unavailable, bramley apples make for a rather inferior, but acceptable replacement.
- 150g of Pecans. The original recipe uses walnuts, but it is better with pecans.
- A handful of raisins.
- Spices: white pepper, Herbs de Provance mix, whole nutmeg
- Olive oil
Put the pecans, a pinch of white pepper, a pinch of Herbs de Provance into a food processor bowl. Grind approximately one third of a whole nutmeg on top.
Spin the food processor until the pecans are ground into a fine powder.
Peel the quince (or its bramley replacement), core it to remove the seeds and cut into small cubes. Add to the powder prepared in the previous step.
Add the raisins and mix throughly by hand.
Fill the duck with the stuffing mix. Once full, slowly pour olive oil on top of the stuffing until all of it is moist. It is possible to put the olive oil into the stuffing at the end of the previous step, but that makes stuffing the duck rather messy.
Take one small shish-kebap pin and use it to "fasten" the duck bottom to the rest of the duck fixing the stuffing in place. Use more than one pin if need be. The original method calls for sewing the duck up. The pin(s) are actually more than adequate in achieving the same result at a very small fraction of the effort. In either case you will need the ducks "bottom" to be intact, so you are out of luck if some marketing genius in the meat supplier has removed it.
Put the duck on a suitable baking tray with its breast facing up. It is best if there is no more than 5 cm free space around it. If there is too much space it will dry out. If there is too little space and the duck is fat, the fat will end up being absorbed by the stuffing. Put a pinch of white pepper in a few spoonfuls of olive oil and use a cooking brush to cover all of the duck with it.
Add a cup of decent white wine (most Chardonnays will do) and put the duck into the oven at mark 5.5-6 gas or 175C if it is electric. Leave for 1h 30 mins. If the duck is big or old increase to up to 2h. If you have a gas oven you can forget the duck for the duration and go and do something useful. If you are unfortunate to use an electric one you will need to pour a couple of spoons of white wine over it now and then.
Take one small water glass (200ml) and mix approximately 50ml of honey and 50 ml of olive oil. If the honey is very thick or set you may need to heat it up a bit at first so it is more runny. Add a pinch of white pepper and a pinch of Herbes de Provance. You may also add some cumin seeds if you like cumin.
Carefully spread one third of the glaze mix on top of the duck and leave it for 20 mins in the oven
Flip the duck so it is now on it belly and put one third of the glaze on its back, bake for 5-15 more minutes.
Flip it one last time and re-glaze the breast and belly side one more time and leave for final 5-10 minutes.
That's it. Voila. It was not that difficult and did not require paying 400 pounds to get food poisoning in a Micheline starred restaurant. I am not going to point to the exact one, if you have been following the news you know exactly which one I am referring to - the one with the food poisoning and a duck as a signature dish.
What Not To Do
- Gravy anywhere near honey glaze and nut stuffing should be prohibited by UN conventions. It falls under the category of cruel and unusual punishment. If you have the giblets a Duck Soup is a much better use of them instead.
- Salt. Salt and nuts do not go along very well. While you can put a bit of salt into the stuffing, it does not work well. In any case, I cook nearly everything low salt too.
- Plums instead or in addition to raisins. There is a variation on this recipe in some Mediterranean regions which uses dried plums or dried apricots. Dried apricots are actually OK, but not easy to come by. Plums spoil the stuffing. They always go somewhat runny, it neither looks good or tastes good.
- Try to rush it. If you try to rush it the duck is nearly guaranteed to end up dry. Good things come to those who wait.
- 18 Jan 2017