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Duck with Sour Cherries

ingredients

serves: 4
2 ducks, each about 1.5 kg (3 lb)
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
salt
freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, sliced
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup port
about 1 cup liquid from cherries
1 x 480 g (17 oz) jar Morello cherries

method

1. Wipe ducks inside and out with a damp cloth. Sprinkle cavity with celery salt, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

2. Place ducks in a roasting dish, breast side up and add water to prevent scorching.

3. Spread the breast and legs with butter and cover loosely with a piece of aluminium foil.

4. Roast ducks in a hot oven 200-230°C (400-450°F) for 15 minutes.

5. Reduce heat to moderate 180-190°C (350-375°F) and continue to cook ducks until tender. Baste frequently with drippings during cooking.

6. Remove the ducks to a heated platter and keep warm.

7. Pour off fat from roasting dish leaving 1 tablespoon fat with brown sediment, and add onion.

8. Cook over gently heat until onion is soft, stir in flour, cook 1 minute, and add chicken stock.

9. Stir continuously until sauce thickens and bubbles.

10. Add port and cherry liquid. Bring sauce to the boil and cook, stirring continuously, until it is slightly thick.

11. Add Morello cherries and heat through.

12. Halve the ducks and pour half the sauce over them.

13. Serve remaining sauce separately in a sauceboat.

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