Duck meat can be tender, moist and delicious if you cook it right. I had tried to cook a whole duck in the past and was alright could be better. Since then I am not keen, and daunting to do it again until I found this recipe. At Christmas time I cooked a roasted duck for the extra protein instead of pork. The duck was cooked to perfection, and the family loved it, and it was a good change instead of having the roast pork.
Here is the recipe for you. It is easy to follow, and I believe in cooler weather during the summer you would enjoy it. Have fun and happy cooking.
How to Roast a Whole Duck
Roasting the Duck
Preheat oven to 190C.
Dry duck with paper towel for a crispier skin. (if possible leave duck uncovered in refrigerator to dry skin out.)
Ensure the vent end of the duck is open to allow even cooking. Never stuff the duck as it prevents even cooking. Instead, place your favourite herbs, zest of orange or garlic inside the cavity for a wonderful aroma while the duck is cooking. If stuffing is desired, cook it separately.
Place duck on a rack in a roasting tray.
Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
Roast for 40mins per kg until golden brown then removes duck from oven and leave to rest for 20 mins.
To portion the duck into 4, gently cut out the 2 breasts and the 2 legs with a sharp knife.
There will be quite a bit of fat in the bottom of the roasting tray (this is good). Pour this into a container and leave to cool. The fat will come to the top and the juices will settle on the bottom.
Use the juices to make your sauce and store the fat in the refrigerator to cook the world’s best roast potatoes.
Duck reheats really well so cook it ahead of time or the day before, joint it when it is cool and then reheat the portions skin side up in a hot oven or under a hot grill. Always serve the sauce on the plate, not over the crispy skin of the duck.
The Cooking Process
I used special herbs – fresh rosemary, garlic and sage to fill the cavity of the duck and also lemon to flavour the duck and salt flakes instead of cooking salt.
Grated the rind, and slice the lemon.
Rub the duck with the rinds and add the flake salt.
Keep refrigerated to get the skin dry
After it is cooked, let it be cold, transfer to a large plate. Cover with baking paper and aluminium foil to stay moist. Wrap it again with a clean cloth and refrigerate to keep until the next day serving time.
Joint the duck when it is cold for easy carving. Reheat in the oven to get the pieces warm and crispy skin.
Serve the duck with garnishes, crispy roasted potato, cooked vegetables/or salad greens, and the sauce/gravy. It goes well with Pino Noir or other white wine if you prefer.
We have started the New Year 2019, and today is the seventh day of January or the first Monday of the month. Before I go too far, I wish to tell you all that I and my family had a Happy Christmas 2018 and a Very Pleasant and Lovely New Year 2019 and I hope you did too. My wish for you to have a very happy, healthy and prosperous year this year. I take and raise my wine in this drinking glass and here for a Great Year 2019.
It was a very pleasant and peaceful Christmas celebration, just the two of us at home.
Poached stuffed fillet Chicken with fruit and nut served with the garnishes was our Christmas Lunch. English trifle for the dessert. We enjoyed thoroughly that time and relaxed afterwards.
Our Christmas Day.
For the Boxing Day was indeed a very special as Susan our youngest daughter to come home with her husband Tris and their dog Alfie. Her room was fixed the day before, and fixing the table at night a day before the Boxing Day was a good idea. In the morning what I did was simply preparation for the feast, cooking a fresh Turkey Buffee for the main and lobster tails for the entree. It was a rather different that I cooked rice pilaf to go with Turkey, but it was good, the dessert was meringue with raspberry, light and delightful sweet to finished of the dinner. The Chardonnay was excellent to go with the food.
The Boxing Day Luncheon
We enjoyed the wine, and the precious sparkling Piper Heidsieck Champagne, thanks to Susan and Tris.
The glasses, plates, knife and forks were washed, and ready for dinner at night time, the celebrations continued and of course, pictures were taken.
All of these is to look back on, happy and precious memory to cherish with the photos or without, simply well kept in our mind.
The Snapshots After Christmas.
Time to go home to Melbourne for Susan, Tris and the dog. Alfie is a good dog, the trip is always easy with the faithful pet. Too busy packing and the flower/herb bouquet which I prepared was forgotten.
See You Again Kids.
Kept and Fixed the bouquet, placed the fresh herbs and flowers in a vase. It was so timely to greet the new year which was coming within two days.
The new year has begun, we started our daily routine. Some of us are already practising or doing their promise of the New Year’s resolutions. To that, I wish you all the very best.
It was not necessary to be anxious to face out of the year, but it’s all good, I did not have a friendly start last year, a little lost in the mids but I could turn round to find my way back for the better. In the end, I was pleased with my self and I could say the world is mine. And now the New Year is here, I shall embrace it with confidence, with a peaceful mind and hope.
Indeed we are in 2019 the New Year, we shall greet it with good spirit. Have a wonderful and blessed year.
European cooking, from baking, braising, to roasting, they are pretty simple, and I love the cooking method. This time I did terrine vegetables, it is delicious, and it does look pretty on a plate. I made the best of silverbeet leaves the last harvest from the vegetable garden. To serve this dish with meat and potato, or served it as a vegetarian side dish.
Fresh Silverbeet, Carrots and Mushrooms
Eggs and Breadcrumbs and herbs
Trim the silverbeet, use the green only, wash and blanched for a few seconds
Drain to dry, place the leaves in the terrine, make sure some of the leaves overhang the baking dish. Keep it aside.
Prepare the filling-carrots and mushrooms
Grated the carrots and cook lightly with oil, when it is cold add an egg, breadcrumb, mix together, keep aside. Similarly, you do with the mushrooms.
Cook sliced mushroom, add some thyme, egg and breadcrumb, mix together
Scoop the mushrooms mixture, place on the terrine, press a little and level
Put the carrot on top of the mushroom to make a good layer, level nicely
Cover the top with a layer silverbeet leaves, and bring the overhang silverbeet leaves over to cover the filling. Now put the lid of the terrine on, and bake in a moderately hot oven for 45 minutes.
Leave it stays for 10 minutes on the dish, transfer to a serving plate, slice to serve
Now, you have it, a sample of cooking based on European cooking.
Trancam is a Javanese vegetable salad. I do this salad for one of the Javanese dishes for a banquet
I owe my daughter and her husband a birthday dinner, so last week I cooked beautiful and delicious Javanese dishes.
These dishes: Trancam, Empal, Capjae, Sayur Lodeh Tofu, Terik Ayam, Sambal Telur, keringan, krupuk Udang, sambal goreng udang and steamed white rice.
(A balanced dish to serve, savoury, hot and a touch of sweetness), Delicious.
The Javanese herbs and spices are easily available in the market or supermarket.
chilli, onion, garlic, salam leaf, peteh (strong flavour of bean), lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf, galangal, ginger and dried prawns.
Sayur Lodeh Tofu
Firm Tofu, Puff Tofu-Diced
Salt and Sugar
onion, garlic, chilli, sliced finely
A sliced of galangal, and daun salam (salam leaf)
Place the coconut milk in a cooking pot (add some water to lightened)
Add the spices, cook over low heat and bring to a gentle simmer
Add in the tofu, and season with salt and a little Sugar
Continue cooking for 10 minutes over a low heat, keep the gentle simmer going.
Transfer to a serving dish. Serve hot or at room temperature.
The traditional Javanese cooking is served hot or room temperature.
The spring has sprung, welcome the new season. Delicious cooking for spring is coming soon, but now I love to share the beautiful flowers in my garden.
The very first of the Yellow Banksia Roses to flower, it’s absolutely gorgeous.
The garden looks so colourful, even though the roses are not flowering yet, but a lot of buds. The first red flowers I cut last week to fill a vase for the house.
Healthy looking rose bushes all in buds.
Smell the Jasmine, so fragrant, beautiful fragrance.
Colour of the ground cover in my backyard.
Every year I do the cutting of these flowers to celebrate spring.
The Red Roses.
It is a beautiful time of the year, love spending time in the garden not only to garden but enjoying the beauty of it all.
I hope you all have a good time in your garden too. Have a wonderful season.
To celebrate the last week of winter by cooking delicious food in the oven, it keeps the kitchen warm. No, it was not roasting but braising. A very tasty braised chicken with red wine to serve for our Sunday best and garnished with mashed potato, followed by a leafy green salad. It was such a delightful dinner.
Braised Chicken with Red Wine
1 whole bird free range chicken-cut into 8
Salt, white pepper to rub the chicken
2 red onions-cut into four for an onion
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
2 bacon pieces, chopped
3 tablespoons braised tomato
1 tablespoon sugar
1 and 1/2 cup red wine
1 cup chicken stock
Herb-bay leaf, rosemary and thyme
To garnish: fresh flat parley and button mushroom
Note: ask the butcher to cut the whole bird, he will do the job well.
The Ingredients and the step by step how do you cook the braised chicken with wine.
The Process of The Cooking
Use a heavy based pot.
Rub each piece of chicken with salt and white pepper.
Pan fry the chicken in the pot, skin down, you do not need the oil at first, after turning
over the chicken, add a little oil to continue to cook.
Take and transfer the chicken from the cooking pot to a plate, put in the onions and
the aromatic vegetable to the pot and deglaze the pot with some of the red wine.
Put the chicken back to the pot, add in the rest of the wine and cook for 5 minutes
before you add in the stock. Turn the chicken over, put the lid on and braised for 15 minutes. Transfer the pot to a hot oven at 165 degrees C, braised for one hour.
Note: Taste the seasoning, cover the pot, and braise over the stove top.
After finished braising, take the oven power off, but leave the pot inside the oven for 35 minutes.
The final result of the dish should be looking moist, and only a little sauce around the chicken.
Preparing the Garnishes, pan-fry mushrooms and fresh parsley
The cold weather is here right now, a time to cook the dish, have fun and enjoy!
Variation serving the dish: you could serve the braised chicken with pasta, boiled potato dressed in butter.
Paris Brest a beautiful cake that I baked for the contribution to the Biggest Morning tea, to raise money for the Cancer Council was delightful. It’s my own style of Paris Brest, but it turned out very well, the cake was light and luscious
I don’t have a recipe to share but I can tell you, what is it made out of. Paris Brest is a large round choux pastry filled with custard or Chantilly cream and dressed the top with powder sugar or any sweets as you wish to have. Traditionally it serves for dessert.
Sugared Rose Petals, the filling of the Choux Pastry, the drizzling of the pink chocolate ganache, that all these steps made a gorgeous Pink Paris Brest.
The custard was a smooth light French Patisiere and the melted white chocolate added pink colouring and butter was the pretty ganache.
The Pink Chocolate Ganache. Paris Brest is served for a dessert, as I mentioned before, but I did not mind to serve the Paris Brest for morning tea, simply place a slice on a serviette, and indeed it was a delight for everyone.
For next year, I don’t know what sweet or cake I would prepare for the Biggest Morning tea, but time will tell, I am blessed to be able to participate in for the past few years.
CELEBRATE THE COLOUR
My cymbidium Kirby Lash, the orchid came back to flower, it was a stem of orchid on the plant when I got, indeed I expected to have more stems in the coming year. However, it is not a disappointment. The pink flower is so soft and pretty, the flowering orchid sits at the kitchen table for the family to see, we love it, it’s beautiful, it adorns the place.
More Pink Cakes
A leftover the choux paste to bake for a large choux pastry, this time it filled with cream Chantilly and dressed in sugared petal, slivered almond and finished off with sprinkling powder sugar. You could do so much with choux pastry, it can be filled with savoury as well, and often I do just that.
A pink sponge cake for family and friends, it was a thank giving. Fifteen years exactly, good years to be in our home. It was built for us to retire, and we have been living it with peace and lots of joy. The house has a lovely garden which I have created with pride and the surrounding is quiet and more so we are blessed with good neighbours. The children come for visits, friends stop by for cuppa tea, it’s a happy home. The pink cake was enjoyed by All, it’s a perfect cake for the celebration.
We are not supposed to eat lots of cakes, but this time is an exception. We have been away for six weeks in Europa, visited Spain, Portugal, The Netherlands and Checkoslovakia, and had a grand time. But by the time we got home, the cold weather hit us so badly and we end up with a cold. It was a bad cold and very tiring, but not for long we recovered and I was able to fill up these commitments, baking for community and friends. As I said before after suffering from cold, we got so tired easily, and long to have sweets on our diet. Well, I followed with the flow, sweets we needed, sweet we got. All goodness of the sweet helped us to recover, and indeed we have our energy back. No more excuses to eat cakes or sweets, it is time to stop, and cooking light, fresh food is the way to go.
It is winter, and poaching fruits are taking place in my kitchen. This time poached apple in red wine, as I wanted the pink colour-pink apple for the filling of my almond cake.
It worked very well, the apple has beautiful bright pink, what you have to do only add a little red wine otherwise the colour becomes a deep red. Here we go again, baking another cake. But the cake is for freezing, to supply for the springtime.
How did I go with my almond cake? It was a big surprise, the cake turned out different as I expected. But it’s all good, now it is in the freezer and ready to dress when I need it.
We were tickled pink to have those sweets and cakes and so the family.
The Pink Cake no more for us, instead we have to settle with fruit scones or date scones for our sweets if there are any baking day. Scone is always popular, particularly the freshly baked to be served with our cuppa. These days we have to be happy with plain Mari biscuits the bought one.
Note: More information of Paris Brest, look up to the Wikipedia.
For my daily cooking is easy, without recipes to follow and the dishes that I cooked worked out alright. Actually cooking is more relaxed if I just go with the flow. Use any ingredients what I have, and from that, I could decide what the dish is going to be, and what technique I would like to go about. No, I don’t even think about the technique of cooking, I simply cooking and listen to my heart. That is the way to go. Easy and No Fuss.
Following a recipe faithfully is good, nothing wrong with that, that’s why cooking books are everywhere. They are there for everyone, to guide us as I believe.
This is my story, one day I was cleaning up my kitchen and I realised that the pear I bought last week were overripe and they are not good for eating. I had to do something about these pears, I didn’t want to waste them. Coffee Cake with Pear, that’s should be good.
I had all the ingredients for the cake, and indeed the cake was baked successfully, without any recipe. That was a time to be creative and productive.
Poach the pear in coffee syrup, followed by preparing the cake batter.
Beautiful Coffee Cake with Pear. The glossy pear adorns the cake richly and lusciously. It’s moist and delicious to serve with cream or serve it warm with a sauce flavoured with the liquor Tia Maria.
The Breaking Of The Bread
The joy of the breaking bread to share and to serve for dinner is . . . . . . . Once you have baked a perfect loaf, you want the best to serve it with. I had fresh chicken chops ready in the fridge, preserved lemon too. Chicken with preserved lemon was cooked ready in no time, and served with the leafy salad to complement the chicken and garnished with the bread. It’s a good meal and ‘NO Fuss’. Perfect sourdough bread freshly baked the ‘Boule’ complemented the evening meal. It was so priceless of breaking the bread the fresh loaf for the family dinner.
I do have a collection of cooking books, thanks to my family and my girls who bought me cooking books of famous authors. Through the books, I learnt how to cook, and to be a better cook.
Following recipes faithfully is important to get the perfect dishes, however, you can always improvise and to be creative, use your imagination and follow-listen to your heart. Have it a go, you may be surprised!