Serves 4, takes about 2 and a half hours
When cherries are in season make this with the fruit. If they are out of season - or two expensive - don't be ashamed of using a tin of cherries to add a juicy sauce to this simple but delicious roast duck.
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Trim the duck of any excess skin and remove the fat from the inside cavity at the neck end. Season well and place the duck on a roasting cradle over a roasting tin. Cook in the oven for an hour and a quarter. A little more for a bigger bird.
- Increase the oven temperature to 220C and roast for a further 20 minutes until the juices run clear when the thickest part of the leg is pierced with a skewer and the skin is crispy. Remove the duck from the oven and leave it to rest in a warm place for 15 minutes.
- Remove the excess fat from the roasting pan with a metal spoon and pour the cooking juices into a saucepan with the cherries, port, stock, thyme and redcurrant jelly. Bring to a boil and simmer to reduce by half. Add any juices that have come from the resting duck. Carve the duck and serve with the cherries and juices. Mashed potatoes and seasonal greens would be a good accompaniment.
Freshly ground black pepper
200g cherries, stoned
75ml chicken stock
4 sprigs of thyme
2 tbsp redcurrant jelly