This evening I cooked a beautiful free-range duck that Hubby was given by a friend. I love duck, it always seems such a treat, and this honey-roast duck is a particular favourite when I do have the chance to cook one. The real trouble is, despite being very rich and fatty, duck is incredibly moreish. What's more, you don't actually get a huge amount of meat off them. This was a 2.3kg bird, which fed the four of us for supper, with a few bits left over.
Roasted Duck with Honey
2kg duck, or thereabouts
6 tbsp clear honey
Preheat the oven to 180°c. Score a few slits in the skin over the breast of the duck (just through the skin and subcutaneous fat - don't cut into the meat). Grind pepper all over the duck and rub it into the skin. You can use salt here as well, and I usually would, but James is still a bit young for added salt. Put the duck on a rack in a roasting tin and pour the honey over it . Smooth the honey across the skin of the bird with the back of a spoon, then put it in thje oven. After 30 minutes, baste the duck with the liquid from the tin, then add 200ml water and tent the bird with foil. Return it to the oven, turned down to 160°c for a further hour, basting halfway through this time. Remove the foil, baste again and cook for a final 30 minutes. Leave the duck to rest for 10 minutes or so on a warmed platter before carving.
The skin can look quite alarmingly black sometimes but it doesn't taste burnt, just sweet, smoky and caramelised; the perfect foil to the rich meat of the duck. I like to serve it with rice (basmati & wild, for preference) rather than potatoes and some still-just-crisp steamed green vegetables, broccoli and sugar snaps this evening. We finished off the last of Christopher's birthday cake for pudding.