Roast Duck and with Venus Black Rice, Chestnuts, Wild Mushroom and Salami Stuffing
Duck makes a stunning Christmas centrepiece, with its tender meat and, if cooked correctly, thick, crispy skin. What's on the inside as stuffing is equally as important. Venus Black Rice has a nutty flavour and slightly firm bite, when mixed with dried mushrooms and salami it creates a stuffing that is packed with flavour, and the perfect match to the duck meat.
1 whole duck, around 2kg
250g Venus Black Rice
1 chicken or vegetable stock cube
2 onions, peeled and diced caramelised
Salt and pepper
100g salami (use a whole sausage rather than slices if you can), peeled and cubed
Duck offal (optional)
180g cooked chestnuts
1 small bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves finely chopped
6 large apples, cut in half, core removed
- Remove the duck from any packaging and check inside the cavity for any offal. Place on a plate or tray, dry the skin and cavity with kitchen paper. Use the tip of small knife to make small incisions into the skin all over and season lightly with salt.
- Combine the rice, water and stock cube in a small pan, bring to the boil, then turn down and simmer until all the water has been absorbed, around 25-30 minutes. If there is still water left, keep cooking until it has all evaporated.
- Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and just cover with boiling water. Allow to steep for 30 minutes.
- Place a frying pan on a high heat and when hot, add the olive oil, onions and season with salt. Cook on a high heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, then turn the heat down to medium and cook for another 10 minutes. Stir frequently and turn the heat down further if they begin to burn too much, but some dark bits are fine. The aim is for them to be soft, sweet and golden, so add more oil if you think they need it.
- Remove the onions from the pan. If you have any offal, like liver, kidney, or heart, with the duck, and if you are like using it (it will only make up a small amount of the stuffing, so its flavour won’t be that dominant, but it’s not to everyone’s taste), then now is the time to quickly fry it. Dry the offal with paper towel, season will with salt and pepper, then fry with a little olive oil for a couple of minutes of each side, then remove. When cool enough, chop into small pieces.
- When you have everything ready to make the stuffing, remove the duck from the fridge. Its fine if you want to do everything ahead of time, but don’t stuff the duck then chill it, as it will take a long time to get heat into the middle when you cook it. In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked rice, rehydrated mushrooms and liquid, onions, salami, offal. Crumble the chestnuts into large pieces into the mix, then add the parsley and mix well. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed. Stuff the mix into the cavity of the duck, using your hands or a spoon to really push it right into the back and fill to the brim, then use a cocktail stick to pin the cavity shut. If you have stuffing left over, put into a small dish and roast separately.
- Heat your oven to 200C fan/220C non-fan. Place the duck on a sturdy roasting dish and dry the skin again with kitchen paper then tuck the apples all around. When the oven is hot, place the duck inside in the middle and roast for 40 minutes, then turn down by 20C and roast for a further 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and insert a skewer into the stuffing to make sure that its hot in the centre. If not, return to the oven and cook for an extra 10 minutes then check again.
- Once cooked, all the duck to rest for at least 20 minutes. As everything cools, use a pasty brush to glaze the duck with some of the caramelised apple juices to give the skin a sticky sheen. Carve the duck by first removing the legs, then these can be cut into thighs and drumsticks. cut the breast off whole by cutting along the centre and separating the meat from the bone, then carve the breast on a board. Serve with the rice and roasted apples.