Roast Duck

Ireland - Wicklow

Catherine Fulvio is an Irish TV chef, food writer, author, and proprietor of Ballyknocken House & Cookery School.

I love all the traditions around Christmas, from the comforting smell of the Christmas tree to the holly with berries, from the cheesy Christmas crackers and their jokes to all those amazing festive flavours on the dining table. So I’m delighted to be back on screens this year for my latest TV show Catherine Celebrates Christmas, where I am honouring all those wonderful tastes of the traditional but with a twist. From cocktails to mains and desserts, I’m sharing recipes I hope will give some inspiration for entertaining and making special memories with family and friends.

Here I’ve shared my roast duck recipe with a delicious apple and walnut, chestnut stuffing. I’ve used local Irish walnuts from Cathal Regan in Garristown, Co Dublin and it was a joy to visit his farm while filming our Christmas show. I hope you can tune in and watch this really special Christmas episode ‘Catherine Celebrates Christmas’ RTÉ One, Tuesday 21st December, at 7 pm.

Serves 4

1 large whole duck
2 tsp salt
2 tsp orange zest
1 tsp chopped thyme
For the glaze
3 tbsp honey
½ large orange, juice only
For the cavity
1 orange, sliced in half
A sprig of bay leaves
For the stuffing balls (makes 15- 18)
70g melted butter
50g pancetta slices, minced
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ celery stalk, finely chopped
2 tsp chopped sage
1 tsp chopped rosemary
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 large red apple, cored and diced small
3 tbsp chopped walnuts
3 tbsp chopped roasted chestnuts
200g fresh breadcrumbs
2 eggs, beaten
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp Irish wholegrain mustard
3 tsp chopped crystalised ginger
2 tsp chopped thyme
4 tsp cornflour (or arrowroot) loosened
in 5 tbsp cold water
Orange slices, to garnish
Bay leaves, to garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4.Place the duck (breast
side) up on a rack/trivet in a roasting pan and place the orange
halves and bay leaves in the cavity of the duck.
2. With a sharp knife, make shallow incisions along the skin of the
breast, scatter over the orange zest, salt and thyme and then rub the
seasoning over the skin of the duck. Tie the legs together if you wish
with some thin but strong string. Pour enough water below the trivet
so that it thinly covers the base of the pan.
3. Roast uncovered, until a thermometer reads between 83°C to 85°C
in the thickest part of the thigh – this will be about 21 ¼ hours doe a
1.6kg duck, rotate the pan halfway through the cooking time. Place a
piece of foil over the duck to prevent it from over browning.
4. For the glaze, combine the honey and orange juice and brush over
the duck, 15–20 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Brush
the glaze on twice and return to the oven uncovered. Keep an eye
on it as they honey can burn. As soon as the duck is ready, remove it
from the oven and let it stand to rest for 15 minutes.
5. To prepare the stuffing balls, melt the butter in a large pan and add the onions, pancetta, garlic and diced celery and sauté for 6 minutes without browning them. Add all the rest of the stuffing ingredients. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Tip: shape one small ball (this will be your tasting tester for seasoning). Heat a little oil in a frying pan and cook the stuffing tester. Cool and
taste. You may like to adjust the seasoning to your taste and this
can be done at this stage. Then shape the mix into neat golf ball size
stuffing balls. Place them on a lined baking tray and drizzle with a
little oil and bake them for 25 minutes, turning once.
6. To make the sauce, to prepare the orange and lemon, use a peeler
to peel the citrus (½ of a lemon and ½ of an orange) without the
pith. Slice them very finely into strips and add them to a saucepan
of boiling water and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Drain the water and set
aside. Juice the lemon and the oranges together.
7. In another saucepan, heat the redcurrant jelly and port and simmer
for 5 minutes, whisking well to loosen the jelly. Mix in the mustard,
crystallised ginger and thyme, the juice of the orange and lemon as
well as the lemon and orange strips and bring to the boil. Whisk in
the cornflour (or arrowroot)/water mix and still on a low heat, whisk
gently till the sauce thickens slightly. Remove from the heat. Transfer
to a serving bowl or jug.
8. To serve, untie the duck legs if you have them secured. Arrange some
fresh bay leaves in the cavity. Place the duck on a serving platter.
Arrange the stuffing balls around the side. Serve with the port and
redcurrant sauce and glazed baby carrots and brussels sprouts with


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