Thursday, 6 January 2011

Indulgent (if a little lazy) roast duck with potatoes and green salad!

Firstly, Happy New Year to you all! I hope everyone had a great Christmas break and that you are all feeling nice and refreshed for the new year ahead!

As a very special treat (and one that my husband and I had been trying to enjoy since our 1st wedding anniversary on 19th December 2010!), we shared a roast duck supper on the final evening of our Christmas break. I had been really keen to try this recipe since seeing it on Nigella’s Kitchen show before Christmas, however due to difficulties tracking down duck legs over the Christmas period and then social commitments we were unable to try this out until the final day of our holiday. Having now tried this dish I can honestly say that it is one of the easiest meals that I have ever made and also one of the tastiest!

The recipe follows and includes a great Italian proverb for preparing the salad dressing, which I recommend trying as it can be used for any salad. We enjoyed this dish (and not just because it had taken no time at all to prepare) with a bottle of Marks & Spencer Pinot Noir from the Mediterranean region of France. A lovely medium bodied wine with a good level of acidity that offset the richness of the duck very well indeed!

NB. The following recipe is adapted from a Nigella Lawson one.

Serves 2 people
Preparation time: 5 mins for the duck and potatoes, 5 mins for the salad
Cooking time: 1hr 30mins


For the duck and potatoes
  • 2 Duck legs
  • 2 Baking potatoes
  • A few sprigs of thyme
  • Salt
  • Pepper

For the salad
  • 1 bag green salad (we used watercress)
  • Olive oil
  • Vinegar (red wine is best, however a white wine or balsamic vinegar would work just as well)
  • Salt


For the duck:

1. Preheat a fan assisted oven to 180 oC.
2. Seal the duck legs on each side in an oven proof pan (I used a frying pan that can be put straight into the oven).

NB. You do not need to add any oil to the pan, as the duck legs contain plenty and will start to release this during the sealing process.

3. Chop the potatoes into thick slices and then into quarters.
4. Take the pan off the heat and place the potatoes around the duck.
5. Baste the potatoes in the oil released from the duck.
6. Place a few sprigs of thyme into the pan.
7. Season the duck with salt and pepper.
8. Place the pan into the oven for approximately 1hr 30mins.

NB. The Nigella recipe says cook for two hours at 200 oC, however as I was using a fan assisted oven I dropped the temperature by 20 oC and found that the duck was ready after about 1hr 30mins.

For the salad:

1. Place the washed green salad into a bowl.
2. Add salt, vinegar and oil to taste and stir.

NB. Nigella used an Italian proverb to prepare the salad dressing, which I absolutely love and will be using for most salads from here on!

Italian Dressing Proverb

Four people are needed:

A wise person for the salt
A generous person for the olive oil
A stingy person for the red wine vinegar
A patient person to toss until every leaf is evenly coated (cc. 35 times)

Additionally a fifth person can be added:

A wealthy person to add a small drizzle of balsamic vinegar

Enjoy!! T :-)))

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