Roast Duck with Prunes, Chestnuts & Sherry

Spanish Made Simple by Omar Allibhoy of Tapas Revolution (£20, Quadrille) Photography: Martin Poole

A perfect roast for chilly winter days

  • 3 tbsps rapeseed oil
  • 1 small whole duck (about 1.5kg), cleaned
  • 8 garlic cloves, skin on but crushed
  • A handful of peeled chestnuts
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 12 prunes
  • 125ml sweet Pedro Ximenez sherry
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Bread or roasted new potatoes, to serve
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Heat the oil in a wide ovenproof pan or casserole dish over a medium heat. Season the duck with salt and pepper and pan-fry on all sides until golden. Help yourself with a pair of tongs. After 10 minutes, remove the duck from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the garlic cloves, chestnuts and onion to the pan and fry for 10 minutes. Add the thyme and prunes and cook for a further 5 minutes. Return the duck to the pan and flambé with the sherry. To do this, slowly tilt the pan towards the flame until the sherry catches, or light with a match. Let the flames flare up then die down and then add 250ml water.
  • Put the pan in the oven and cook for 25 minutes, then switch off the heat and leave the duck in the oven for a further 20 minutes without opening the door. This should crisp up the skin and cook the duck to perfection as well as resting the meat.
  • Serve as a centrepiece with some good bread or roasted new potatoes.
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