Duck with peas is a traditional Spring dish and – whilst I can see the appeal of that – I think this way of roasting duck with red onions and oranges is even more suited to this time of year. Its zest and vibrancy seem to enhance any glimpses of sunshine; whilst being hearty enough fare to open a bottle of red to on still-chilly evenings.
It is a meal that requires a little time but not much endeavour. Once you have mixed together with your hands the onion, orange pieces, fennel seeds and garlic there is precious little else to do for an hour or so. Serve simply with some steamed new potatoes and another of Spring’s highlights: watercress. As you eat this be sure to pop the flesh out of the unpeeled garlic cloves. The mellow garlicness inside will be deliciously and meltingly creamy.
Duck legs roasted with red onions and caramelised orange (serves 2)
2 duck legs
2 red onions – peeled and cut chunks
1 orange – cut into eight
2tbsps olive oil
1tbsp fennel seeds
4 garlic cloves – whole and unpeeled
sprig of rosemary
Preheat the oven to 180C.
1. Dry off the duck skin and then gently prick it a few times with a cocktail stick. Season.
2. Mix together in a large bowl the red onion pieces, chunks of orange, olive oil, fennel seeds, garlic, and rosemary. Season. Tip all of that into a large, shallow baking dish. Nestle the duck legs in amongst the orange etc. and cook for 1hr 20mins. Stir it all round twice while cooking.
3. Ten minutes before the end pour the honey over the duck legs and the orange, then return to the oven to finish off.