SLOW ROASTED DUCK WITH DUCK FAT CHIPS AND GRAVY

SLOW ROASTED DUCK WITH DUCK FAT CHIPS AND GRAVY

Some dishes end up defining you, chef and restaurant. This is one of them. I cooked it at the Great British Menu banquet for Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall in 2010. That raised our profile into the stratosphere: everybody suddenly wanted to book a table at The Hand & Flowers and order duck and chips!

INGREDIENTS

SERVES: 4

For the duck:

2 large Aylesbury ducks, about 2kg each

3 tsp ground mace

 

For the gravy:

500g duck bones and wings, chopped

A little vegetable oil for cooking

4 carrots, peeled and chopped into 3cm pieces

4 celery sticks, cut into 3cm pieces

1 onion, peeled and diced into 3cm pieces

1 garlic bulb, cut across in half, through the equator

150g runny honey

4 cloves

2 litres chicken stock

50ml soy sauce

About 500g unsalted butter

Lemon juice, to taste (optional)

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

 

For the faggots:

250g minced duck leg (skin on)

50g minced chicken liver

50g breadcrumbs

1 medium free-range egg

5g salt

2g cracked black pepper

100g caul fat, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes

 

For the duck legs and peas:

2 duck legs

1 star anise

1⁄2 cinnamon stick

10 black peppercorns

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tbsp rock salt

2 bay leaves

About 300ml duck fat

500g freshly podded peas

4 tbsp runny honey

A little vegetable oil for cooking

2 large banana shallots, peeled and finely diced

100ml chicken stock

2 gem lettuces, finely sliced

20 small mint leaves

 

For the duck fat chips:

15 large potatoes for chipping

2.5 litres duck fat for deep-frying

 

To serve:

2 tbsp runny honey

50g unsalted butter

Pea shoots, to garnish

METHOD

1: To prepare the duck, remove the legs and wings from the ducks and take out the wishbone (reserve for the faggots, gravy etc. Remove the excess fat and skin, placing it all in a frying pan. Now carefully cut away the backbone; you should be left with the crown.

2: Place the pan of fat and skin over a low heat to render the fat out. Set aside for later use.

3: Score the skin on the duck crowns and rub in the mace. Heat a heavy- based frying pan over a medium- high heat. Add the duck crowns and sear on all sides for 5–10 minutes to render the fat and give the skin a good golden colour. Remove the duck crowns from the pan and allow to cool.

4: Put each duck crown into a large vacuum-pack bag and vacuum-seal on full pressure. Immerse in a water-bath at 62°C and cook for 1 and 1⁄2 hours.

5: Lift out the vacuum-pack bags and remove the ducks. Carefully cut the breasts from the crowns. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.

6: To prepare the gravy, preheat the oven to 205°C/Fan 185°C/Gas 6–7. Put the chopped duck bones and wings into a roasting tray and roast in the oven for about 25–30 minutes until golden brown and caramelised.

7: Heat a little oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the chopped carrots and colour until darkly caramelised. Add the celery, onion and garlic and similarly colour until well browned.

8: Remove the duck bones and wings from the roasting tray and add them to the saucepan. Drain off the excess fat from the roasting tray, then add the honey and cloves to the tray. Place over a medium heat and take the honey to a dark golden caramel.

9: Add a splash of the chicken stock and the soy sauce to deglaze the tray, stirring to scrape up the sediment. Add the liquor to the duck bones and vegetables. Pour in the rest of the chicken stock and reduce down by half, to 1 litre.

10: Pass the liquor through a muslin-lined sieve into a clean pan and skim off any excess fat from the surface. Add 250g butter to every 500ml duck liquor and reduce down until it has emulsified into the sauce.

11: Season with salt and pepper and add a little lemon juice if required. Set aside for serving.

12: To prepare the duck faggots, put all the faggot ingredients into a bowl and mix well until evenly combined. Divide and shape the mixture into 50g balls. Wrap each one in caul fat to enclose.

13: Steam the duck faggots at 100°C for 20 minutes. Remove from the steamer and allow to cool, then chill until needed.

14: When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 205°C/Fan 185°C/Gas 6–7. Place the faggots on a baking tray and bake for 8 minutes.

15: Hold the faggots in the duck gravy until ready to plate up.

16: To prepare the duck legs and peas, preheat the oven to 150°C/Fan 130°C/ Gas 2. Put the duck legs into a large ovenproof pan or flameproof casserole. Tie the spices together in a muslin bag and add them to the pan with the rock salt and bay leaves. Pour on enough duck fat to cover and bring to the boil over a medium heat.

18: Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 31⁄2 hours or until the duck legs are soft. Leave them to cool in the duck fat. Once cooled, remove from the fat and place in the fridge.

19: Meanwhile, add the peas to a pan of boiling salted water, bring back to the boil and blanch for no longer than 1 minute. Immediately drain and refresh in iced water. Drain and set aside

20: Preheat the oven to 205°C/Fan 185°C/Gas 6–7. Place an ovenproof heavy-based frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the duck legs, skin side down, and place in the oven for 10–12 minutes to crisp up. Remove the duck legs to a plate and add the honey to the pan. Allow to caramelise, then pour over the duck legs and allow to cool.

21: When ready to serve, heat a little oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the diced shallots and sweat for 10–15 minutes until softened but not coloured. Add the peas and stock and bring to a simmer.

22: Meanwhile, flake the duck leg. Stir the duck meat into the peas with the lettuce and mint. Divide between 4 small serving pots.

23: To prepare the duck fat chips, cut a slice from the top and bottom of each potato, then press an apple corer through from top to bottom to make round cylinder chips. Put the cut chips into a colander under cold running water to wash off some of the starches.

24: Now add the chips to a pan of boiling salted water, bring back to a simmer and poach for about 10 minutes until just soft, but still holding their shape. Drain on a perforated tray and leave to cool.

25: Heat the duck fat in a deep-fryer to 140°C. Lower the chips into the hot fat in a wire basket and deep-fry for 8–10 minutes until the oil stops bubbling. Remove the chips from the fryer, drain and leave to cool. Set aside until needed.

26: When ready to serve, heat the duck fat to 180°C and deep-fry the chips for about 6–7 minutes until golden and crispy. Remove, drain on kitchen paper and season with salt.

27: To serve, just before serving, preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Heat a little oil in a heavy-based ovenproof frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the duck breasts, skin side down, and fry for 3–4 minutes to crisp up the skin, then place in the oven for 4–5 minutes to heat through.

28: Pour off any excess fat from the pan, then add the honey and butter and turn the duck around in the pan to coat in the honey glaze.

29: Remove the duck breasts to a warmed plate and rest in a warm place. Increase the heat under the pan to caramelise the honey glaze then pour it over the duck breasts.

30: Serve the duck breasts with the duck legs and peas, duck faggots, gravy and chips. Finish with a garnish of pea shoots.

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INGREDIENTS

SERVES: 4

For the duck:

2 large Aylesbury ducks, about 2kg each

3 tsp ground mace

 

For the gravy:

500g duck bones and wings, chopped

A little vegetable oil for cooking

4 carrots, peeled and chopped into 3cm pieces

4 celery sticks, cut into 3cm pieces

1 onion, peeled and diced into 3cm pieces

1 garlic bulb, cut across in half, through the equator

150g runny honey

4 cloves

2 litres chicken stock

50ml soy sauce

About 500g unsalted butter

Lemon juice, to taste (optional)

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

 

For the faggots:

250g minced duck leg (skin on)

50g minced chicken liver

50g breadcrumbs

1 medium free-range egg

5g salt

2g cracked black pepper

100g caul fat, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes

 

For the duck legs and peas:

2 duck legs

1 star anise

1⁄2 cinnamon stick

10 black peppercorns

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tbsp rock salt

2 bay leaves

About 300ml duck fat

500g freshly podded peas

4 tbsp runny honey

A little vegetable oil for cooking

2 large banana shallots, peeled and finely diced

100ml chicken stock

2 gem lettuces, finely sliced

20 small mint leaves

 

For the duck fat chips:

15 large potatoes for chipping

2.5 litres duck fat for deep-frying

 

To serve:

2 tbsp runny honey

50g unsalted butter

Pea shoots, to garnish

METHOD

1: To prepare the duck, remove the legs and wings from the ducks and take out the wishbone (reserve for the faggots, gravy etc. Remove the excess fat and skin, placing it all in a frying pan. Now carefully cut away the backbone; you should be left with the crown.

2: Place the pan of fat and skin over a low heat to render the fat out. Set aside for later use.

3: Score the skin on the duck crowns and rub in the mace. Heat a heavy- based frying pan over a medium- high heat. Add the duck crowns and sear on all sides for 5–10 minutes to render the fat and give the skin a good golden colour. Remove the duck crowns from the pan and allow to cool.

4: Put each duck crown into a large vacuum-pack bag and vacuum-seal on full pressure. Immerse in a water-bath at 62°C and cook for 1 and 1⁄2 hours.

5: Lift out the vacuum-pack bags and remove the ducks. Carefully cut the breasts from the crowns. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.

6: To prepare the gravy, preheat the oven to 205°C/Fan 185°C/Gas 6–7. Put the chopped duck bones and wings into a roasting tray and roast in the oven for about 25–30 minutes until golden brown and caramelised.

7: Heat a little oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the chopped carrots and colour until darkly caramelised. Add the celery, onion and garlic and similarly colour until well browned.

8: Remove the duck bones and wings from the roasting tray and add them to the saucepan. Drain off the excess fat from the roasting tray, then add the honey and cloves to the tray. Place over a medium heat and take the honey to a dark golden caramel.

9: Add a splash of the chicken stock and the soy sauce to deglaze the tray, stirring to scrape up the sediment. Add the liquor to the duck bones and vegetables. Pour in the rest of the chicken stock and reduce down by half, to 1 litre.

10: Pass the liquor through a muslin-lined sieve into a clean pan and skim off any excess fat from the surface. Add 250g butter to every 500ml duck liquor and reduce down until it has emulsified into the sauce.

11: Season with salt and pepper and add a little lemon juice if required. Set aside for serving.

12: To prepare the duck faggots, put all the faggot ingredients into a bowl and mix well until evenly combined. Divide and shape the mixture into 50g balls. Wrap each one in caul fat to enclose.

13: Steam the duck faggots at 100°C for 20 minutes. Remove from the steamer and allow to cool, then chill until needed.

14: When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 205°C/Fan 185°C/Gas 6–7. Place the faggots on a baking tray and bake for 8 minutes.

15: Hold the faggots in the duck gravy until ready to plate up.

16: To prepare the duck legs and peas, preheat the oven to 150°C/Fan 130°C/ Gas 2. Put the duck legs into a large ovenproof pan or flameproof casserole. Tie the spices together in a muslin bag and add them to the pan with the rock salt and bay leaves. Pour on enough duck fat to cover and bring to the boil over a medium heat.

18: Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 31⁄2 hours or until the duck legs are soft. Leave them to cool in the duck fat. Once cooled, remove from the fat and place in the fridge.

19: Meanwhile, add the peas to a pan of boiling salted water, bring back to the boil and blanch for no longer than 1 minute. Immediately drain and refresh in iced water. Drain and set aside

20: Preheat the oven to 205°C/Fan 185°C/Gas 6–7. Place an ovenproof heavy-based frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the duck legs, skin side down, and place in the oven for 10–12 minutes to crisp up. Remove the duck legs to a plate and add the honey to the pan. Allow to caramelise, then pour over the duck legs and allow to cool.

21: When ready to serve, heat a little oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the diced shallots and sweat for 10–15 minutes until softened but not coloured. Add the peas and stock and bring to a simmer.

22: Meanwhile, flake the duck leg. Stir the duck meat into the peas with the lettuce and mint. Divide between 4 small serving pots.

23: To prepare the duck fat chips, cut a slice from the top and bottom of each potato, then press an apple corer through from top to bottom to make round cylinder chips. Put the cut chips into a colander under cold running water to wash off some of the starches.

24: Now add the chips to a pan of boiling salted water, bring back to a simmer and poach for about 10 minutes until just soft, but still holding their shape. Drain on a perforated tray and leave to cool.

25: Heat the duck fat in a deep-fryer to 140°C. Lower the chips into the hot fat in a wire basket and deep-fry for 8–10 minutes until the oil stops bubbling. Remove the chips from the fryer, drain and leave to cool. Set aside until needed.

26: When ready to serve, heat the duck fat to 180°C and deep-fry the chips for about 6–7 minutes until golden and crispy. Remove, drain on kitchen paper and season with salt.

27: To serve, just before serving, preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Heat a little oil in a heavy-based ovenproof frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the duck breasts, skin side down, and fry for 3–4 minutes to crisp up the skin, then place in the oven for 4–5 minutes to heat through.

28: Pour off any excess fat from the pan, then add the honey and butter and turn the duck around in the pan to coat in the honey glaze.

29: Remove the duck breasts to a warmed plate and rest in a warm place. Increase the heat under the pan to caramelise the honey glaze then pour it over the duck breasts.

30: Serve the duck breasts with the duck legs and peas, duck faggots, gravy and chips. Finish with a garnish of pea shoots.

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THE HAND AND FLOWERS COOKBOOK (2020)

Celebrating 15 years of The Hand and Flowers, this book contains 70 of the best dishes that have ever appeared on the menu.

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