Crispy Duck with Plum Chutney

Last post of the year, and it’s Jamie Oliver once again coming through with a pretty excellent bird. Kyle and I made this Christmas eve, and it was super good! The skin gets just as crispy as you’d hope, and I developed a minor obsession with the chutney.

For some reason, the supermarkets around here have duck (and a bunch of other birds) only for the holidays. Because plums are a summer fruit, it’s pretty difficult to get both a duck and a plum at the same time of year, but I found some canned plums and they worked fine, although I used a few more because they seemed tiny.

Ingredients:

Duck:

  • a small bunch of fresh sage, leaves picked, divided
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 duck
  • 1 orange, halved
  • 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 bulb of garlic, cloves separated and bashed

Chutney:

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 a cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise (smells like Good & Plenty, but doesn’t make the chutney gross and licorice-y)
  • 6 large red ripe plums (or 8 canned), pitted and chopped
  • a strip of orange zest
  • a pinch of ground cumin
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Also!:

  • a small bunch of watercress, washed and dried  –  Man, this stuff is hard to find, goes off rapidly once you get it, and is just…not the most important thing. If you can find it, get it because it’s a nice leafy addition, but if not, your dish isn’t going to be ruined by any means.

Having a roommate around is ideal to do some of the boring the veggie chopping while you start preparing the duck. Oh, and speaking of duck preparation, just because a duck is smaller than a turkey doesn’t mean it defrosts fast. Ours had two days in the refrigerator and was still a block of ice when I took it out to cook, so be sure to plan ahead and defrost well!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a mortar and pestle, grind up 5 or 6 of the sage leaves with the 2 teaspoons of sea salt. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, get creative!

Rub your sage-y salt all over the skin of the duck, then shove the rest of the sage and both halves of the orange (make sure you got your strip of zest first!) in the cavity of the duck.

Put the chopped veggies in a roasting tray where they’ll fit snugly with the duck, then put the duck on top, breast side down.

Whoops, have to flip that duck!

Roast the duck for 2 hours, flipping every half hour or so and ending with it breast side up in the last half hour. An hour in, carefully pour most of the fat out of the dish.

While the duck cooks, you can make the chutney. Begin by pouring the sugar in a saucepan and adding just enough water to dissolve it. Place over high heat and add the cinnamon and star anise.

Bring to a boil, then simmer until it reduces significantly and the bubbles start to get large. (Just wait for it – if you’re not sure, it hasn’t happened yet.)  As soon as it begins to turn golden, add the chopped plums, orange zest, and cumin, and turn the heat down to low. The plums will add some moisture, then it will cook down to a thicker consistency. Remove from the heat, season with some salt and pepper, and set to the side until your duck’s ready. The chutney will be good warm or cool.

Soooo tasty!

At the end of the two hours of roasting, you’ll know the duck is done when you can pinch the leg meat and it feels like it will come easily off the bone.

Crispy!

Shred the meat onto plates, serve with a bit of watercress on top, and the plum chutney. I…may have taken the ‘shred’ instruction a bit too seriously, as I have horrible knife skills and everything got slippery in duck fat.

So arty.

The veggies in the bottom of the dish are also delicious, once you again pour out the duck fat, and fish out most of the garlic cloves. This would be a filling meal for 3 people, and was a good change to the traditional Christmas Chinese food.

Perfectly Cooked Crispy Duck with Spiced Plum Chutney

From Cook with Jamie (the greatest book I own??).

Duck:

  • a small bunch of fresh sage, leaves picked, divided
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 duck
  • 1 orange, halved
  • 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 bulb of garlic, cloves separated and bashed

Spiced Plum Chutney:

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 a cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 6 large red ripe plums (or 8 canned), pitted and chopped
  • a strip of orange zest
  • a pinch of ground cumin
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • a small bunch of watercress, washed and dried

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a mortar and pestle, grind up 5 or 6 of the sage leaves with the 2 teaspoons of sea salt. Rub the sage/salt mixture all over the skin of the duck, then shove the rest of the sage and both halves of the orange in the cavity of the duck.

Put the chopped veggies in a roasting tray where they’ll fit snugly with the duck, then put the duck on top, breast side down.

Roast the duck for 2 hours, flipping every half hour or so and ending with it breast side up in the last half hour. Halfway through the cooking time, carefully pour most of the fat out of the dish.

While the duck cooks, prepare the chutney. Pouring the sugar in a saucepan and add just enough water to dissolve it. Place over high heat and add the cinnamon and star anise. Bring to a boil, then simmer until it reduces significantly and the bubbles start to get large. As soon as it begins to turn golden, add the chopped plums the orange zest, and the cumin and turn the heat down to low. Cook until it thickens. Remove from the heat, season with some salt and pepper, and set to the side until the duck is ready.

At the end of the two hours of roasting, the duck is done when you can pinch the leg meat and it feels like it will come easily off the bone.

Shred the meat onto plates, serve with a bit of watercress on top, the plum chutney, and the vegetables, once again carefully drained of duck fat.

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About sparecake

My name's Corinne, and I like cake, cookies, and chocolate! Also, non-c-things such as ponies, Star Trek, and biking. I write a food blog and a blog about life, wide open spaces, and museum work. Nice to meet you!
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One Response to Crispy Duck with Plum Chutney

  1. Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs
    I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It’s always useful to read content from other
    authors and use something from their web sites.

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