Roast Duck with Cherry Sauce

I happened to spot some ducks on special today at the supermarket. It’s a great tasting meat, gamey & rich – which I love. I also love the crisp, melt-in-the-mouth skin that you get from roasting it. Being a gamey meat, it works wonderfully with a sweeter sauce to counteract. This cherry sauce is just that, I actually thought it was too sweet when I was preparing it but once it was married with the duck it melded perfectly. I loved it.

1 x 1.5-2kg duck.
Salt & pepper

For the sauce:
300g sour cherries from a can or jar (drained – reserving the liquid)
1 orange (zest of half, juice of the whole orange)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup red wine
2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons plain flour
3 tablespoons reserved cherry juice

Preheat oven to 220ºC
Lay the duck on a roasting rack and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Sprinkle generously with salt & pepper then roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 150ºC and cook the duck for 3 hours, basting and pricking the skin randomly with a sharp knife every 30 minutes. After 3 hours, turn up the heat to 220ºC for a further 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cover with foil to rest for 15 minutes.

While the duck is cooking, to make the sauce, put all the sauce ingredients, except the flour and cherry juice into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Gently simmer for 10 minutes then remove from the heat. Pass through a sieve then discard the solids. Place over a moderate heat and bring to a simmer. Mix together the flour and cherry juice and stir into the sauce to thicken. Simmer for 2-3 minutes then remove from the heat. Cover and reheat to just simmering when you’re ready to serve if the sauce is too thick, thin out with a little water or cherry juice.

To carve the duck, cut down the centre of the breast bone to remove the fillets, then cut off the legs and thighs and then with a fork, shred off as much of the excess meat as you can. Place on a serving platter and spoon over some of the sauce.

I served mine with roast potatoes which I’d cooked in some of the duck fat (delicious!) and some mixed vegetables.

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