Roast Duck with Cherry Sauce
|Oven ready duck||2 3⁄4 Kilogram (1 Whole)|
|Freshly ground black pepper||To Taste, or milled|
|Watercress||1 Tablespoon (For Garnish)|
|Morello cherry jam||275 Gram (Top Quality)|
|Red wine||225 Milliliter|
1. Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/ gas 7. Prepare the duck by wiping it as dry as possible with kitchen paper. Then, using a small skewer, prick the fatty bits of the skin, particularly between the legs and the breast. Now either place it on the roasting rack in the tin or make a rack yourself by crumpling the foil and placing it in the bottom of the roasting tin. Season with salt flakes and freshly milled black pepper, using quite a lot of salt, as this encourages crunchiness.
2. Now place the tin on a highish shelf of the preheated oven. After 20 minutes turn the heat down to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4, then basically all you have to do is leave it alone for 2 1/2 hours (or 30 minutes longer for a 2.7kg bird). During the cooking time, using an oven glove to protect your hands, remove the tin from the oven and drain the fat from the corner of the tin - do this about 3 times (the fat is brilliant for roast potatoes, so don't throw it away). 3. To make the sauce, simply combine the jam and wine and bring it up to a simmer, then simmer for about 10 minutes to thicken slightly.
4. When the cooking time is up the duck skin should sound crisp when it is tapped with a knife, if it's not pop it back in the oven for a bit longer. Then when it's cooked, allow it to rest for 5 minutes or so, then divide it into portions. All you need to do is cut the bird in half lengthways (i.e. along the length of the breast and either side of the backbone) with a sharp knife, then cut the halves into quarters (you may need some help with kitchen scissors here), leaving any escaped pieces of bone behind. Serve with the sauce poured around so as not to lose the crispness of the skin and garnish with watercress.