Duck, Duck, Goose

Cooking time
Serves4-6 people

A bird is a bird, is a bird. Here’s our guide to cooking the perfect duck or goose.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole duck or goose
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Herbs (rosemary, sage, bay and/or thyme)
  • Spice like cinnamon sticks, fresh ginger, star anise…(optional)
  • An orange, clementine or lemon, halved
  • A few crushed garlic cloves
  • A few aromatic veg like carrots, onions/leeks, celery/celeriac, fennel, parsnips…
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Method

1. Preheat your oven to Roast at 220oC/Gas 7.
2. Remove the packaging to let your bird breathe and get up to room temperature before cooking.
3. Pat the skin dry to make it extra crispy, and give it a decent rubbing over of salt.
4. Place your bird in a large roasting tin, breasts facing down.
5. Tuck some herbs, spices (cinnamon sticks, slices of ginger, star anise…), halved citrus and/or crushed garlic or onion slices inside the cavity. Don’t fill it more than half full.
6. Nestle some of the same aromatics and a bit of veg (carrots, parsnips, celery, fennel, celeriac) under the bird. It adds flavour to the bird and your gravy.
7. Roast bird breast-side down at 220°C/Gas 7 for 20-30 mins, or till the skin crisp and bronzed.
8. Lower the oven to 170°C/Gas 3. Roast 30 mins for every 1kg. So if your bird weighs 4kg, if should take 2 hrs beyond the initial bronzing. Use your instinct. Ovens differ, your good judgement doesn’t. If it’s getting too tanned, loosely cover it with foil. If it seems done before time’s up, do the pierce test.
9. Pierce the fattest part of the leg with the tip of a sharp knife. If the juices run clear, it’s done. If they’re pink or reddish in any way, cook your bird for a bit longer. Check every 30 mins, piercing the leg as before.
10. When the juices are running clear, carefully flip the bird over to brown the breast. Crank the heat back up to 220oC/Gas 7 for 20 mins, or till the breast side is nice and golden. Rest your bird for at least an hour before carving.
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