Duck la Orangina
Enjoy with an unoaked crisp chardonnay from Australia or Chile.A tip from
1. Prepare some savoury salt, (the left - over salt can be stored in a jar and used for roasts, or roast potatoes to add instant flavour). In a food processor chop ¾ of the sage and rosemary, with the garlic. Add two handfuls of salt and some black pepper.
2. Trim the excess fat from the inside of the bird, then rub the salt mixture over the skin and sprinkle a little salt on the inside of the duck as well.
3. Heat an ovenproof cast – iron pan and dry – fry the duck on all sides until golden brown.
4. Lift the bird from the pan and discard any excess fat.
5. Return the bird to the pan, add the onions, sprinkle with sugar/honey, add the star anise, bay leaf, and thyme. Shake the pan so that the onions don’t burn. Add a little water/stock. Place the bird on top of the onions and place in a pre – heated over at 230C/Gas mark 8, for 30 minutes.
6. Reduce the heat to 180C/gas mark 4 and cook for a further hour (depending on the size of the duck, the time will need to be altered accordingly); baste the duck regularly with its own juices. You might need to add a little stock or water if the juices are reducing too much.
7. To check if cooked, pierce the leg with a skewer. The duck will be ready when the juices coming out of it are clear. Make sure not to overcook it.
8. In the meantime, place the Orangina, the spices and bay leaves in a pan and reduce to one third, very slowly, until it becomes a syrup.
9. When the bird is cooked, remove the duck and vegetables from the pan and skim off any fat from the pan.
10. Return the duck to the tray and pour the reduced Orangina over it. Place in a hot oven (230C) for 3 minutes, and baste the duck again with the juices from the pan and return to the oven. Repeat the process a few times, until the duck is glossy and shiny.
11. Remove from the oven and let stand for about 20 minutes before carving.
12. Serve with the retained vegetables and the sauce.