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45 mins
Duck with Peppercorns Recipe

Duck with Peppercorns

Rating 4-0 out of 5 - Most cooks definitely will make this recipe again

Recipe by  

The tang of freshly-crushed peppercorns adds another dimension to this great recipe. Roast Duck is one of my absolute favorites, but it is not easy to get it right. If you concentrate on achieving moist meat, the skin might not crisp up. If you concentrate on crisping up the skin, you risk drying out the breast meat. Still, the desired result is so wonderful that I've spent many years trying to figure out how to get it done dependably and easily. I’ve tried very high heat, very low heat, and a mixture of the two. I've even tried air drying the duck for several days as the Chinese do when they make Peking duck. Most of these methods are probably too much work for the home cook. The method I use here works well and is not too scary.

      Preparation Time: 15 Minutes

      Cooking Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Ingredients for Duck with Peppercorns

If you are not familiar with any ingredients, please check our International Cooking Terms page.
US Imperial Measurements  UK Imperial Measurements  Metric Measurements

Currently displaying quantities in US Imperial Measurements
to serve 4:
1 x 3lb
duckling (oven ready or fresh)
salt and pepper
2 teaspoons
3 fl oz
dry white wine
2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon
black peppercorns
7 fl oz
double cream (heavy cream)


How to Cook Duck with Peppercorns

  1. Prick the skin of the duckling several times with a fork and season liberally with salt and freshly-ground pepper. Place a rack in a shallow roasting pan and roast until browned and crisp (about 1 hour) in a preheated moderately hot oven at Mk 6 - 400ºF - 200ºC . (The duck should register about 145 degrees when a thermometer is inserted into the thigh meat.) Remove the roasting pan after 30 minutes, drain off the fat, and again prick the skin.
  2. Meanwhile, peel and chop the shallots and roughly crush the peppercorns inside a piece of cloth or between several layers of soft kitchen paper, using a heavy weight such as a rolling pin (of a copy of War and Peace"!). Melt the butter in a pan, add the shallots and cook gently until they become transparent. Stir in the wine and brandy, bring to the boil and continue boiling for five minutes.
  3. Remove the duckling from the oven and cut into serving portions. Arrange these on a warmed serving dish and keep warm.
  4. Add the crushed peppercorns and cream to the pan of sauce and season with more salt if required. Cook for 3-5 minutes until thickened (do NOT allow to boil). Spoon the finished sauce over the duckling and serve immediately.

If you buy a whole, fresh duckling from the butcher, you can recognise a tender bird by its beak, which should be flexible.
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Reviews of Duck with Peppercorns

Rating 4 out of 5 - Many cooks will make this recipe again March 07 2015
I made this last night for dinner and the result was great. I particularly like the tang of the peppercorns with the juicy duck meat. I used a thermometer rather than timing the cooking and it was in the oven a bit less than the recipe said, but the meat was just perfect (nicely pink). I'll be doing this again soon!
(4 reviews)

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