Roast duck with pomegranate glaze

Roast duck with pomegranate glaze

By
From
Meat
Serves
4
Photographer
Dean Cambray

Most people know that sour, tangy fruits, such as orange and cherries, go brilliantly with duck’s rich, dark meat. I also like to use pomegranate, a slightly more unusual fruit, which has a distinctive sweet-sour tang and complements duck perfectly.

Don’t worry about trying to get hold of fresh pomegranates. Pomegranate syrup (also called molasses) is available throughout the year from specialist food stores and Middle Eastern grocers. It’s dark and sticky and is easy to make into a glaze. Because it caramelises quickly, don’t start basting the ducks until about three-quarters of the way through the cooking time.

Substitute ripe nectarines for the pears, when they are in season.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 x 1.8kg ducks
salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, quartered
1 orange, quartered
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 bunch thyme
5 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 bunches watercress, leaves picked
4 ripe pears, sliced
1/2 Quick pickled onions
pomegranate seeds, (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
  2. Remove the ducks’ necks (if still attached) and trim away any loose fat. Cut off the first wing joints and remove any giblets from inside the birds. Season each cavity generously with salt and pepper. Divide the onion, orange, garlic and thyme evenly between the birds, tucking them snugly inside the cavities. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses into each bird then use a long piece of butcher’s string to tie the back legs to the parson’s nose. This will seal the cavity and flavour the bird from the inside.
  3. Place the ducks on a rack inside a large roasting tin and rub them all over with olive oil. Season generously and roast in the centre of the oven for 1–1½ hours, depending on your oven.
  4. Every 15 minutes or so during roasting, remove the ducks from the oven (not forgetting to close the oven door, to maintain the cooking temperature) and tip the roasting tin on an angle, so that the fat pools in the corner. Baste the ducks all over, being a little careful, as the hot fat may sizzle and spit.
  5. Three-quarters of the way through the cooking time, carefully tip off about ¼ cup of the hot duck fat and mix it with the remaining 3 tablespoons of pomegranate molasses to make a glaze. Stir well and brush onto the ducks. Repeat several times until the ducks are cooked a rich dark brown, reserving a little of the glaze for serving.
  6. Transfer the cooked ducks to a hot plate and leave them to rest for 10 minutes in a warm spot. To serve, use kitchen scissors or a cleaver to cut the birds into portions on the bone.
  7. Pile the duck pieces onto a large serving platter and top with the watercress, pears and onion. Drizzle with a little of the reserved pomegranate glaze and scatter on a few pomegranate seeds.
Tags:
Meat
Adrian
Richardson
La
Luna
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