This dish looks quite fancy when plated, and is great for a dinner party since
it doesn't require too much fuss on the night (with one exception). The sauce
can be prepared in advance, if required. Serves 4, with sauce left over.
||4 duck maryland pieces (drumsticks by themselves if you
can find them)
||2 duck breat fillets, skin on
||1 bunch each of thyme, tarragon and rosemary
||a bottle of pinot noir, not too crappy. (Rathdowne
cellars has a reasonable cleanskin for around $15/bottle).
||4 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
||1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thinly
||1 jar of morello cherries
||Juice of half an orange
||1/2 cup chicken stock
||good glug of Kirsch
||1 tsp corn flour
If you have maryland pieces, separate the drumsticks with a sharp knife (you
may find it easier to find the joint if you break it first). Place half the
herbs in the bottom of an oven proof dish, and put the duck drumsticks on top.
Pour about half a bottle of pinot over the top, season generously with salt
and pepper, and about a tablespoon of sugar, sprinkled over the top. Finely
chop some of the remaining herbs to make about a tablespoon when chopped, and
sprinkle over the duck. Finely chop or crush a clove of garlic and smear across
the duck. Place the remaining herbs on top, cover and refrigerate for a couple
To make the sauce, strain the morello cherries, and put the juice into a large
pan. Add a glass of pinot, the chicken stock, Kirsch, orange juice, chopped shallots, some garlic,
salt and pepper and about 2-3 tablespoons of brown sugar. Reduce until it begins
to thicken, typically to about 1/5 of the original volume. Strain, discard solids
and set aside.
Bake the drumsticks for about half an hour at 200C fanforced (this seems long
for a small amount of meat, but there's a lot of pinot, and it'll be quite cold
to start with, so will take a while to get to temperature).
Score the skin of the fillets in a diamond pattern (don't pierce the flesh)
and rub olive oil, salt and pepper all over the skin. Preheat a grill until
very hot (if you're using the same oven, get the drumsticks pretty much cooked
first, remove then and let them sit, grill the breasts, then return the drumsticks
to the oven afterwards to keep warm).
Grill the duck fillets skin side up for about 3-4 minutes on a wire rack, watching
carefully to ensure they don't burn. Turn over, and grill for a further 1-2
minutes. This will likely smoke a lot (we set off our smoke detector several
times!) so maybe set up a fan or similar before you start.
Remove the fillets, place on a warm plate and let rest uncovered for a few
minutes, then cover with foil and rest until carving and plating. (Max 3-4 mins).
Reheat the sauce, add the cherries and bring to a gentle simmer. Mix the corn
flour with a little water to make a wet slurry, and add to the sauce, stirring
until thickened. Remove from the heat.
Slice the fillets, skin side down, about 5mm thick.
Plate a little creamed baby spinach (see the Coulibiac recipe for details)
if desired, or similar green veg, top with a drumstick and arrange a few slices
of fillet on top. Add a spoonful of cherries, and a drizzle of the sauce around
the edge of the plate. Done!
Photography by Fiona Carnibella Photography, http://www.pixweb.com.au/
or as indicated.