Lauraine Jacobs

Food Writer and Author of Delicious Books

Lauraine’s blog

10 May 2012


  • 2 whole ducks
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 sticks celery, sliced
  • 3 pods star anise
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup chicken or duck stock
  • 1 tbsp flour To finish:
  • 2 tbsps five spice powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 nectarines or peaches, halved
  • Basil leaves

Set the oven to 150ºC. Take a sharp heavy knife and remove the neck and tail. Cut each duck in half, by cutting through the middle down the length of the breast and then flattening the duck out and cutting through the length of the back. Wipe the duck halves dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Place the chopped vegetables in a roasting pan with the star anise and thyme and place the duck halves on top of this with the rib cage down. Bring the water to a boil and tip into the pan. Cover tightly with tinfoil and place the dish in the oven. Allow the ducks to braise slowly for 2 hours and 30 minutes. The meat should be very tender. Allow to cool. Meanwhile strain the juices in the roasting pan into a large container. Allow this to set in the frig and save the duck fat for other uses. You can make the sauce at this stage by deglazing the pan with flour and the stock. Allow to bubble up while stirring for 5 minutes. Tip into a small saucepan for easy reheating later. Once the duck is cool, carefully remove the breast bones and rib cage. They should easily come away from the meat. Leave the wing and leg bones on to give the duck shape. 45 minutes before you want to serve the duck, pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Rub the skin of the duck halves with five spice powder and a little salt and pepper. Place on a rack over a baking dish and roast for 25-30 minutes until the skin is crisp and the fat has been rendered down. Reheat the duck sauce, adding the halved peaches or nectarines to warm. Serve the duck halves on a heated platter and tip the sauce and fruit over. Garnish with basil leaves and serve at once with potatoes roasted in duck fat and fresh green beans. Serves 4 (or maybe 6 small appetites) Wine match; a rich pinot noir

Photo Elizabeth Clarkson Recipe Lauraine Jacobs

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