Slow Roast Duck legs
To cook duck legs, preheat oven to 180°C, prick skin of duck leg several times, season with salt & pepper and place in a roasting tin on a wire rack and cook for 90 mins. Leave to rest covered with foil in a warm place for 10 minutes before serving.
note: reserve the fat that has rendered out of the meat for roasting potatoes.
Pan frying duck breasts
To pan fry duck breasts, score the skin, season breast with salt and pepper and place skin side down in a cold frying pan over a low heat for around 10-12 mins to render the fat out of the breast (it is important to put the duck into a cold pan so that the fat can slowly render out, if you put it into a hot pan, it will seal the fat into the breast, you may need to tip the excess fat out of the pan a couple of times). Once the skin is golden and crispy turn the breast over and cook for a further 4-5 minutes (for medium/rare) ideally the breast should be served slightly pink in the middle (a well done duck breast will be dry and tough). Leave to rest for 5 minutes in a warm place.
Honeyed Slow roast duck
Duck Cooking Instructions
Below are two different methods of roasting a whole duck, instructions for pan frying duck breasts and slow roasting duck legs.
Traditional Roast Duck
Preheat oven to 180°C
Prick skin of duck around legs and neck area, season cavity with salt & pepper and sprinkle skin with salt. The duck can be stuffed at this stage if so desired!
Place on a rack in a roasting tin and roast for 20 mins per 500g plus 20 mins.
Slow Roast Duck (This method is perfect if you have an Aga range cooker, use the simmering oven). You just pop your duck into the oven in the morning and leave it to do its job, delicious.
Preheat oven to 150°C
Season cavity of duck with salt & pepper and sprinkle skin with salt.
Place in roasting tin and cover tightly with foil.
Roast slowly in the oven for anything from 3 hours to 6 hours.
For last half an hour, turn oven up to 220°C and remove foil, baste skin with some of the rendered duck fat or brush with honey (it is a good idea to tip off the excess fat at this stage or it will begin to smoke at the higher temperature) cook until skin is brown and crisp.
Wrapping the duck in foil produces a steaming effect, keeping the duck extremely moist and juicy, resulting in duck that is falling off the bone.
Pour rendered duck fat into a jar, it will store in the fridge for a couple of months and make delicious roast potatoes.