Roast duck with grapes

Strain the remaining dripping from the duck into a bowl. Cover and keep in the refrigerator for roasting potatoes. Duck dripping can also be used for roasting parsnips.
For easier serving, cut the duck in half lengthways, using sharp kitchen scissors to cut down the breastbone and along backbone. Then cut each half into 2 even portions.


serves 4
1 duck, weighing 2-2.25 kg (4 1/2 - 5 lb), giblets reserved
1 small onion, quartered
bouquet garni
freshly ground black pepper
425 ml (3/4 pint) water
grapes and watercress, to garnish

1 onion, very finely chopped
25 g (1 oz) plain flour
300 ml (1/2 pint) duck giblet stock
150 ml (1/4 pint) dry white wine
50-75 g/2 - 3 oz each green and black grapes, quartered and deseeded
2 tablespoons double cream


1. Heat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

2. Pat the duck dry inside and out with absorbent paper. Prick the skin all over and sprinkle with salt.

3. Weigh the duck and calculate the roasting time at 30 minutes per 500 g (1 lb). Place the duck breast side up, on a grill rack or trivet in a roasting tin. Roast, without basting, in the oven for the calculated cooking time, until the skin is brown and crisp, and the juices run clear when thigh is pierced with a fine skewer.

4. Meanwhile, rinse the giblets in cold water and place in a saucepan together with the quartered onion and bouquet garni. Season with salt and pepper and cover with the water. Bring to the boil, then lower heat and simmer gently for 1 hour. Strain and set aside.

5. Drain the cooked duck well, saving 2 tablespoons dripping. Place the duck on a warmed serving dish and keep hot in the oven turned down to 110C/225F/Gas 1/4, while making sauce.

6. Pour the 2 tablespoons of hot duck dripping into a small saucepan. Add the chopped onion, cover the pan and cook gently for 10 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time until the onion is soft and golden brown. Sprinkle in the flour and stir over low heat for 1 - 2 minutes, then gradually stir in 300 ml (1/2 pint) of the strained giblet stock and the wine. Bring to the boil, and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring, until thickened.

7. Add the grapes and heat through gently for a further 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream. Pour into a warmed bowl or sauceboat and hand separately with the roast duck, garnished with grapes and watercress.

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