Wild duck is one of the most delicious of all birds and, in this recipe, its rich flavour is enhanced by a superb grapefruit and port sauce. The duck should be basted frequently during roasting to prevent the delicate flesh from drying out.
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 X ½ lb. wild ducks, oven-ready
4 parsley sprigs
4 shallots, halved
4 oz. butter, melted
3 small grapefruit
2 oz. cup soft brown sugar
3 fl. oz. port
2 fl. oz. brown stock
Preheat the oven to very hot 450 F (Gas Mark 8, 230 C).
Rub the salt and pepper over the ducks and put the parsley and shallots inside the cavities. Close the cavities with a trussing needle and string or skewers. Place the ducks in a roasting tin and baste with 3 ounces of the butter. Place the tin in the oven and roast for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the grapefruit. With a small, sharp knife, pare the rind from half of one grapefruit and squeeze the juice from both halves into a small cup. Cut the pared rind into thin strips and blanch for 2 to 3 minutes in boiling water. Drain and set aside. Squeeze the juice from the second grapefruit into the cup and set aside. Cut the third grape- fruit into thin slices and set aside.
Pour the grapefruit juice over the ducks. Reduce the oven temperature to moderate 350CF (Gas Mark 4, 180°C) and roast for a further 15 to 20 minutes, basting the ducks frequently with the juices and butter. Roast until the juices run clear when a thigh is pierced with the point of a sharp knife.
Meanwhile, in a medium-sized sauce-pan, heat the remaining butter over moderate heat. Add the reserved grapefruit slices and sugar and cook, turning the slices over occasionally, for 6 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
Remove the ducks from the oven and transfer them to a warmed serving dish. Using a slotted spoon, remove the grape-fruit slices from the pan and arrange them around the ducks. Set aside and keep hot while you finish the sauce.
Strain the juices in the roasting tin through a fine strainer into the saucepan. Stir in the grapefruit rind, port and brown stock. Set the pan over moderately high heat and boil the sauce, stirring occa-sionally, until it has reduced and thick-ened slightly.
Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the sauce into a warmed sauccboat and serve immediately, with the ducks.
Try this tempting and extravagant Wild Duck with Grapefruit Sauce.