Slow-Roasted Duck with Braised Lettuce

Ingredients:

  • 1 duck – about 2.5kg
  • 1 t peppercorns, ground
  • 300ml chicken (or duck) stock
  • 100g butter, cubed
  • 10 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 lemon,thinly pared peel 
  • 4 little gem lettuces, halved length-ways and rinsed
  • 150g runny honey
  • 75ml soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Sea salt flakes, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Pierce the duck all over with a small sharp knife; don’t tear the skin. 
  2. Season with freshly ground peppercorns and salt to taste and place on a wire rack in a roasting tray.
  3. Place the tray in the oven and roast for 25 minutes. 
  4. Remove from the oven, pour off and reserve the fat that has accumulated in the tray. 
  5. Reduce heat to 110ºC. When it reaches that temperature, return to the oven and roast the duck for 1¼ hours, basting every 20 minutes.
  6. Mix the stock, butter, thyme and lemon peel together in a large saucepan over a high heat and bring to the boil. 
  7. Place lettuce halves in the stock, cover the pan and simmer over a low heat for 8–10 minutes until they start to wilt. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
  8. Take the duck out of the oven and pour off 90% of the fat. Turn the heat up to 180ºC.
  9. Pour the runny honey over the top of the duck, then return the tray to the oven and roast for a further 15–20 minutes, basting every 5 minutes with the pan juices and watching closely that the honey doesn’t burn, until the duck is cooked through and tender. 
  10. On the last baste, add the soy sauce. Remove the duck from the tray and leave to rest, uncovered, for 45 minutes, then serve.