Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Roast Duck with Cauliflower Puree and Marsala Sauce

When it comes to cooking, the duck is a strange beast!  If you're only cooking the breast then it has to be pink; medium at the absolute most.  However, when roasting the whole bird I think it is so much better when cooked all the way through.  I'm not sure why this is but maybe it's to do with the cooking method and the fat content of the little porkers! Cooking it for longer lets that delicious skin crisp up and releases all of that fatty goodness!  The amount of fat means that it still retains moisture when cooked through and is just a great eat.  I know a recipe has gone well when Mandy and I are pushing each other out of the way to attack the remnants then dipping them in the leftover marsala sauce!

Roast Duck with Cauliflower Puree and Marsala Sauce


1 2kg Gressingham Duck

For the sauce:
650ml Water
Duck Giblets
1 each of Celery Stick, Onion, Leek, Carrot
2 Bay Leaves
8 Juniper Berries
6 Black Peppercorns
10g Butter
1 Heaped Tbsp Plain Flour
75ml Marsala
1 Heaped Tsp Redcurrant Jelly

For the Cauliflower Puree:
1 medium Cauliflower
15g Butter
Whole Milk


1.  Preheat the Oven to 220C, pat dry duck and prick the skin with a sharp knife.  Season generously with salt.
2.  Place duck on a rack on a roasting tray; place in oven and reduce heat to 200C.  Roast for 1 hr and 30 minutes (20 minutes per 500g plus 10 minutes).  Open the door every so often and pour off the excess fat (don't throw this away, best roasties ever are made with duck fat!)
3.  Wash the giblets and place in a saucepan with the water, celery, onion, leek, bay leaves, juniper berries and peppercorns.  Bring to a gentle simmer, skim off any impurities and leave to gently simmer with the lid on for around 1 hour.  Pass through a sieve and reserve.
4.  For the puree, chop cauliflower into small pieces and place in a saucepan with the butter.  Pour in enough milk to just cover.  Bring to a simmer and cook until the cauliflower has softened.  Blitz and then pass through a sieve.  Season with salt, set aside.
5.  When the duck is ready, remove from the oven and allow to rest whilst you finish the sauce.  Remove any excess fat from the roasting tray and add the butter and the flour, stirring to form a roux.  Add the marsala and stir to deglaze the pan and ensure a smooth sauce.  Gradually add enough of the reserved giblet stock to form the thickness of sauce you want.  I used about 300ml of stock for my sauce.  Simmer gently to make sure the flour is cooked out.  Add the redcurrant jelly and stir until dissolved.
6.  Reheat cauliflower puree, carve duck and plate up.  Enjoy!

P.S. If you're trying to impress you can drizzle over a small amount of sauce for presentation and then take the rest to the table for the guests to drown their duck in!

Hope you enjoy this one (we certainly did!).


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