Duck in Port and Cherry Sauce


serves 4
1 oven-ready duckling, weighing 4-5 Ib (1.8 - 2.3 kg), with giblets
1 onion, quartered

for the sauce

3 tablespoons dripping (fat from roasted meat) and the juices from the cooked duckling
2 tbsp plain flour (All purpose)
1 cup (8 fl oz) 250 ml giblet stock (see below)
1 small glass port
14 oz (400 g) can stoned (seeded) black cherries, drained


1. Place the giblets in a saucepan, cover with cold water and add any seasoning and herbs to hand. Simmer for 1 hour to make stock.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350°F(180°C/)gas mark 4.

3. Pat the duckling dry inside and out with absorbent kitchen paper and put the quartered onion inside.

4. Prick the skin all over with a fork and sprinkle with salt. Place the duckling on a grill rack in a shallow roasting tin, breast uppermost, and roast for 35 minutes per 1 lb (450 g), without basting.

5. To make the sauce, put 3 tablespoons of duckling dripping and juices into a saucepan, sprinkle in the flour and stir over a gentle heat for 1 minute. Gradually blend in 1/2 pint (300 ml) strained giblet stock to make a smooth sauce.

6. Cook gently, stirring for about 2 minutes, or until thickened, then stir in the port and cherries.

7. Carve the duckling use scissors and cut the duck's breast in half, starting from the neck end. Cut along the length of the breastbone, then through the backbone to split the bird in half. If you like, cut along the backbone, remove it and use it to make stock, so that you serve less bone on the plate. Cut each half of the bird in two, making a slanting cut between the ribs to separate the wing and the leg, so that you now have four portions. and spoon the sauce over.

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