Roast duck with apple sauce and red cabbage

Serves 4 Starters and mains

Kyle Darina Roast Stuffed Duck With Apple Saucecabbage


For the stock

  • neck and giblets from the duck
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • bouquet garni of parsley stalks, celery stalk and thyme sprig
  • 2-3 peppercorns

For the sage and onion stuffing

  • 45g salted butter
  • 75g onion, finely chopped
  • 100g soft white breadcrumbs
  • 1tbsp freshly chopped sage

For the braised red cabbage

  • 225g red cabbage (Red Drummond, if possible)
  • 1⁄2tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 heaped tbsp granulated sugar
  • 225g cooking apples such as Bramley Seedling, peeled, cored and quartered

For the Bramley apple sauce

  • 450g Bramley Seedling cooking apples, peeled, cored and quartered approx. 50g sugar, depending on tartness of the apples


Brining the duck in advance of cooking can enhance the flavour considerably. The day before cooking, mix 105g salt with 1.2 litres water and pop the bird into the brine. Cover and leave overnight.

You’ll need stock made with the giblets for a flavoursome gravy. To make the stock, put the neck, gizzard, heart and any other trimmings from the duck into a saucepan with the onion, carrot and bouquet garni. Cover with cold water and add the peppercorns but no salt. Bring slowly to the boil and simmer for 2-3 hours. This will make a delicious stock which will be the basis of the gravy.

Meanwhile, if necessary, singe the duck over the gas stove or with a blow torch to remove any persistent down and preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. To make the stuffing, melt the butter then add the onion and sweat over a gentle heat for 5-10 minutes until soft but not coloured, then add the breadcrumbs and chopped sage. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Unless you plan to cook the duck immediately leave the stuffing to cool completely.

Season the cavity of the duck with salt and freshly ground pepper and spoon in the cold stuffing. Truss the duck loosely. Roast in the oven for around 1 hour 30 minutes.

For the braised red cabbage, remove any damaged outer leaves from the cabbage, then examine and clean it if necessary. Cut into quarters, remove the core and slice the cabbage finely across the grain. Put the vinegar, 60ml water, 1⁄2tsp salt and the sugar into a cast-iron casserole or stainless-steel saucepan. Add the cabbage and bring to the boil.

Meanwhile, lay the apples on top of the cabbage, cover and continue to cook gently for 30-50 minutes until the cabbage is tender. Do not overcook or the colour and flavour will be ruined. Season to taste and add more sugar if necessary.

To make the Bramley apple sauce, cut the apple quarters in half and put into a small stainless- steel or cast-iron saucepan with 1-2 dessertspoons water and the sugar. Cover and cook over a low heat. As soon as the apples have broken down, beat into a purée, stir and taste for sweetness.

When the duck is cooked, remove to a serving dish to rest while you make the gravy.

De-grease the cooking juices (keep the precious duck fat for roast or sauté potatoes). Add the stock to the juices in the roasting pan, bring to the boil, taste and season if necessary. Strain the gravy into a sauceboat and serve with the duck alongside the red cabbage and apple sauce.

Recipes and photographs taken from Simply Delicious by Darina Allen, photography by Peter Cassidy (Kyle Books, £20).
Kyle Darina Roast Stuffed Duck With Apple Saucecabbage
Recipes and photographs taken from Simply Delicious by Darina Allen, photography by Peter Cassidy (Kyle Books, £20).


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