Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Roast Duck with Chestnut, Chorizo and Cabbage

Autumn food.... Duck, chestnuts, pumpkins, squashes, mushrooms, apples, venison... Everything... its all so very tasty and warming, leaps and bounds better than any other season... I just love it, and aim to do as much cooking as possible while it lasts. There is a lot to try out... Pickling, terrines, confit, stews, sauces, pies... I'm laughing a bit at the thought of it all!

The shooting season has started so it is relatively easy to get hold of wild feathered game; these mallards were the first of the season for me, followed closely by four little partridge which are currently hanging in the porch, their fate yet to be decided... Mr. Hedworth is a good shot and generous too...

Thus a lovely way to spend a Friday night last week was with some roast duck, some lovely fresh new potatoes from my aunts garden, some soft sticky chestnuts and chorizo, a little bit of red wine and the fire on. Did I say that I loved Autumn... You need a really hot oven, about 230°C, so put it on before you begin anything else. Pop a tablespoon of herby butter and half and onion inside each duck. I made my herby butter with some salted butter, chopped sage and thyme, a few crushed juniper berries and some salt and pepper, all mashed together. Settle the ducks in a roasting tin and smear their skin with some more butter, ready to go in the oven.

Begin the chestnut, chorizo and cabbage with a chopped onion, soften it on a low heat with a pinch of salt, for about 10 minutes. Next add a diced carrot, a diced stick of celery, 2 bay leaves and some sprigs of thyme and continue to soften for another ten minutes. After about 5 minutes add a finely chopped clove of garlic. The mix should start to become soft and sticky and caramelly.

At this point you can put the duck in the oven, it needs to roast for 20 minutes, this will give you a  rare bird, depending on its size. You shouldn't cook anything for more than about 30 minutes however or it will just be dry. Keep an eye on it and after about 5 minutes add the juice of half an orange and the same amount of red wine. Continue to baste the bird with the buttery juices every so often as it cooks.

Dice about 100g of chorizo, and about 100g of chestnuts, from a tin or vacuum packed, and add these to the carrot and onion mix and leave to cook for another 5 minutes. Finally add about a quarter of a savoy cabbage finely shredded, turn it into the mixture and continue to cook on a low heat, with a lid on, until the duck is ready. Check it after 5 minutes as it may need a splash of water to loosen it up a bit, I used a few tablespoons from the new potatoes...

When your duck is ready take it out and rest it covered in foil for a good 5 minutes. Finally carve and serve with some new potatoes and a big spoonful of chestnut, chorizo and cabbage.

Wild duck is far less fatty than those you buy in the supermarket and has a deep rich gamey flavour, this one was quite rare and was beautifully soft and pink. It is perfect with the chestnut, chorizo and cabbage, which is sweet, sticky and delicious...

As I cooked two birds we did continue to eat duck for about four days, mixed through some red wine lentils it was delicious, in a little sandwich with bread sauce and leaves it was pretty good too... I even managed to boil up the carcasses to make some duck stock, which I imagine will make a pretty good base for some sort of game pie...


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  2. hi thanks! yes you can follow on twitter @the_grazer xx


Happy cooking! Let me know if you make any of my recipes, send a picture, and let me know any of your own recipes and tips! Anna x