Roast Duckling with Sauerkraut


5-6lb (2.3 - 2.7 kg) duckling
3 cloves of garlic, slivered
small piece of fresh ginger, slivered
1 orange, halved
freshly ground black pepper
mild paprika
2 tbsp honey
3 - 4 tbsp Southern Comfort

for the stuffing:

1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
knob of rendered duck fat
duck liver, gizzard and heart
3/4 lb/340 g fresh, canned or vacuum-packed sauerkraut,drained weight
1 dsp dill seeds, or fresh dill weed or fennel seeds


1. Prick the bird all over, particularly the fatty parts. (This is most important, as it allows the fat to drain off during cooking, leaving a crisp skin.) Insert the garlic and, if you wish, ginger, into some of the slits. Rub the cut orange all over the skin, then sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika. Let it sit for an hour or two to absorb the flavours.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the stuffing. Fry the onion in a little rendered duck fat until brown.

3. Trim the fat and gristle from the liver, gizzard and heart, and dice them.

4. Fry with the onion until well sealed. Stir in the sauerkraut and dill or fennel, and cook gently for 10 minutes.

5. Allow to cool before stuffing the duck. Squeeze the orange, and blend the juice with the honey and liqueur.

6. Preheat the oven to gas mark 7, 220°C/425°F. Stuff the duck, and secure the cavities with toothpicks or kitchen thread. Brush with the orange juice mixture.

7. Place the duck on a wire rack in a roasting tin, laying it on its side.

8. Cook at 220°C/425°F, gas mark 7, for 10 minutes. Turn the oven to 190°C/375°F, gas mark 5, for 20 minutes.

9. Remove the duck from the oven and turn the heat back up to 220°C/425°F, gas mark 7. Drain off the fat from the roasting tin, brush the duck once more with the orange juice then turn it on to its other side.

10. Return the duck to the oven and cook for 10 minutes, then for a further 20 minutes at the lower temperature. Remove from the oven again, raise the temperature once more to 220°C/425°F, gas mark 7 and drain off any more fat.

11. Turn the duck on to its back, brush with orange juice, roast for 10 minutes and then a further 20 minutes at the lower temperature. Baste once more during cooking. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes, kept warm.

12. If there are more cooking juices than fat in the bottom of the roasting pan, use them to make a gravy, adding any remaining basting mixture.
Garnish with flat-leaved parsley and serve with a green salad, wild rice and, if you wish, a little fruit jelly.

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