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    Roast duck with honey and thyme

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    Roast duck with honey and thyme

    • Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus drying and resting
    • Cooking time: 2 hours 30 minutes
    • Total time: 2 hours 45 minutes, plus drying and resting

    Serves: 4


    1 whole duck (about 1.25kg), giblets removed
    20g pack thyme, leaves only, plus extra to serve
    6 tbsp clear honey
    500ml chicken or vegetable stock


    1. Score the skin of the duck 4 or 5 times, being careful not to cut through into the meat. Put the duck in a roasting tin in the sink, pour over a kettleful of boiling water then drain and allow to dry for 1-2 hours, to prepare the fatty skin ready for roasting.

    2. Preheat the oven to 150˚C, gas mark 2. Rub the duck inside and out with a generous amount of salt and the thyme leaves. Pour over the honey and stock and roast for 2 hours 15 minutes. Every 45 minutes, baste the duck with the juices and fats from the tray. If the juices turn too thick, add a little more stock or water.

    3. When the fat seems excessive, carefully pour some into a jug (save it to cook roast potatoes). After 2 hours 15 minutes, check the duck is thoroughly cooked; it should be tender to the touch and the juices should run clear. If it’s not ready, baste again and cook for another 10 minutes or so, until it is tender. Transfer to a serving plate and allow to rest for 25 minutes.

    4. Meanwhile, strain off the fat from the roasting tin and make a gravy by reducing the cooking juices over a high heat. Garnish the duck with extra thyme sprigs, sprinkle with sea salt and serve with the gravy. 

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    This recipe first appeared in Waitrose & Partners Food, February 2019 issue. Download the Waitrose & Partners Food app for the full issue


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