Friday, November 24, 2017

Oven-roasted duck with plums and red onions

Ahjupart ploomidega. Duck with plums.

We love duck in our house. It's just as easy to cook as your regular Sunday chicken roast, but because it's less common, somewhat pricier and much bitter, it has a more festive feel to it. We don't cook duck for weeknight dinners, but for weekend roasts and entertaining at home, it's such a worthy bird.

Here's a version I cooked a few times this autumn, trying to perfect it for a magazine photo shoot :)

Serves around 6

Oven-roasted duck with plums and red onions

(Ahjupart ploomide ja sibulaga)

1 whole duck (ca 3-3,5 kilograms; I prefer chilled to frozen)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
300-400 ml of hot water
5-6 smallish red onions
few decent garlic cloves
4 cloves  (the spice)
1 kilograms large red plums
3-4 fresh thyme sprigs

Preheat the oven to 180 °C/350 °F.

Season the duck with salt and pepper, both inside and out. Place into a good-sized oven dish (I used a lasagne dish on the photo, but a wide dutch oven would do as well). Pour  hot water into the dish, place the dish into the preheated oven and roast for an hour.

While the duck is roasting, peel the onions, halve lengthwise. Peel the garlic cloves.

Remove the duck from the oven and place the onions, garlic cloves, cloves (the spice) and thyme sprigs around the duck. Return to the oven for another hour.

Halve the plums, remove the stones. Take the duck out of the oven, and place the plum halves around the duck.

Increase the heat to 220 °C/425 °F.  Return the duck into the oven and roast for another 30 minutes or until the duck skin in deliciously golden brown and crispy. The meat thermometer should read 73-74 °C/163-165 °F when pierced into the middle of the thickest part of the duck leg.

Remove the duck from the oven and let rest of 10 minutes. Pour the pan jus through the sieve, place into a small saucepan and cook until slightly thickened. 

Then carve the rested duck into portions and serve with roasted plums, onion and garlic and the reduction.