Christmas Duck: A Left-Wing Choice
Christmas Duck: A Left-Wing Choice
Break Tradition this Christmas with Organic Duck
Duck might not be the go-to choice at Christmastime, but we think our organic duck presents a delicious alternative for your festive feasting. Perfect for smaller celebrations, organic duck has many benefits, and its tastiness is just one. A delightful, crispy duck typically has a higher fat percentage than organic turkey, making it easier to cook as it doesn’t dry out as quickly. Plus, it’s quicker cooking due to its smaller size. This also means less food wastage and using the duck fat on organic potatoes and vegetables makes for outstanding side dishes. We like to think the fattier nature of organic ducks makes them as tasty as can be and they’re also a super easy carve too. So, you might be sold on the idea of a Christmas duck, but why should you choose an organic duck?
Our Organic Ducks
Our fresh duck is from a small, local farmer in Devon, who works to rear his organic ducks to the highest of organic standards. The soil association certified organic farm takes a hands-on approach as they hatch, rear and slaughter their organic poultry all on the farm. They also put in effort to sustain the right conditions to produce the best fresh ducks in a marketplace where frozen duck is more commonplace.
The free range ducks benefit from a natural development, spending most of their time outside exploring and bathing in pools. These plump and well-fed birds feed on a 100% organic mixture and are free from routine antibiotics due to their natural and organic lifestyle.
The plucking process, which is also done on the farm, makes these organic ducks a standout too. The birds are dry plucked and waxed to finish rather than wet plucked as many mass-produced ducks are. Wet plucking is quicker, easier and makes the final product look better, but causes the meat more damage which can also affect its taste. Dry plucked ducks are also, in our opinion, better tasting.
Olia Hercules’ Festive Duck Recipe
This organic duck recipe is a little different, but we like to think it’s the perfect change to mix up your Christmastime. Professional chef and food writer Olia Hercules’ Christmas duck recipe takes influence from eastern Europe and is packed with flavour. What’s more, it’s very little effort and all done in one pan. Spice up this one pot recipe by adding some seasonal spices to the stuffing for a truly festive treat. Serving 6-8 guests, this roast duck recipe is perfect for a family Christmas.
- 1 Organic Duck, 2.3-2.6kg
- ½ Organic Cabbage
- 8 Organic Potatoes, peeled
- 3 Organic Apples
- 200g Organic Sauerkraut
- 150g Organic Dried Apricots or Prunes
- ½ tbsp Organic Coriander Seed, lightly toasted and ground
- White or Black Pepper, to season
- Sea Salt Flakes
- Preheat the oven to 220C.
- Half or quarter the organic potatoes and boil them in salted water. Bring to the boil and cook for 10 minutes or until the edges become a little rough when you drain them in a colander.
- If your apples are small, leave them whole, but half the larger ones. Toss in some lemon juice.
- Take the organic duck out of the fridge in advance to come to room temperature and pat as dry as you can. The dryer it is the crispier the skin will get. Prick the skin all over with a fork to help release the fat as it cooks.
- Get out as much of the fatty bits at the back and the neck of the duck as you can - you will need this fat to cook the organic cabbage. You can also use a little cooking oil if you don’t get enough fat.
- Pull the fatty pieces out and put into a large, dry frying. Put the hob on low heat and start rendering the fat.
- Meanwhile, get rid of the dry, tough end of the cabbage then slice it fully - including the core (just slice the core very thinly). When there is enough fat to cover the base of the pan, add the cabbage and a pinch of salt. Raise the heat slightly and cook until the cabbage softens and reduces in volume.
- Add the kraut and dried fruit, cook over a medium heat. Lower the heat and cover with a lid to speed things along, cook for another 5-10 minutes. If it looks a little dry, add a splash of water.
- Give the stuffing a taste, and season as required. Add a few grinds of black or white pepper. Let the filling cool for 10 minutes.
- Put the duck into a deep bowl so the bottom cavity is upwards - this will free both of your hands to pack the stuffing in. Scoop the cabbage inside the duck and put it breast side up on a rack which sits over a large baking tin or tray - the largest you have. Rub the duck breast and legs with some sea salt.
- Cook for 40 minutes. Then, taking care with handling the hot duck, pour most of the fat from the tray into a bowl (you can use it to cook potatoes). Put the duck back on the rack over the tray and cook for a further 40 minutes. Swap sides, so it browns evenly.
- Finally reduce the heat to 190C, put the duck directly on the roasting tray and surround it with the potatoes and apples. Cook for another 30 minutes, turning the potatoes once halfway through.
Fancy trying Olia’s organic duck recipe? Choose organic duck this Christmas for delivery nationwide. But hurry, our Christmas delivery spaces are filling up fast.
- Libby Long