Wild duck with cabbage and slow-roasted quince

Anthony Demetre serves a fine dish of roast wild duck with spiced quince and cabbage enriched with bacon and homemade confit duck
Wild duck with cabbage and slow-roasted quince
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the quince

  • 1 large quince
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 1 orange, pared zest and juice
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 tsp rose water

For the duck

  • 2 wild duck, preferably mallard
  • 500 ml duck fat
  • vegetable oil or olive oil, for frying

For the cabbage

  • 1 savoy cabbage, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp duck fat
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 rashers streaky bacon
  • 1 sprigs thyme, leaves only, chopped
  • 1 pinches freshly grated nutmeg


1. For the quince: preheat the oven to 100C/80C fan/gas ¼. Wash, peel and core the quince. Cut into 8 wedges and keep all the trimmings.

2. Put the quince trimmings in a saucepan with 150ml water, the caster sugar, orange zest and juice, spices and rose water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Sit the quince wedges in a baking dish that fits them snugly and use a metal sieve to strain the syrup over the quince. Cover with greaseproof paper and bake for 6 hours.

4. For the duck: remove the legs from the ducks and pat them dry with kitchen paper. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and place them in a saucepan. In a separate saucepan, melt the duck fat and pour it over the legs. Heat until the duck fat reaches 85C (check this with a thermometer), then transfer the confit to the oven and cook slowly for 3 hours at 100C/80C fan/gas ¼. Keep the confit under simmering point
no bubbles should break the surface of the fat. When the confit has finished cooking, remove the legs from the duck fat and set aside to cool.

5. To roast the duck crowns, preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Heat a splash of oil in a large pan or roasting tray and lightly brown the ducks all over. Transfer to the oven to cook for about 10 minutes, or until cooked but still slightly pink in the middle.

6. Remove the duck crowns from the oven, cover and set aside in a warm place to rest for about 8 minutes. Remove the breasts and carve them, discarding the skin if you dont like the taste of it. Take the meat from the confit duck legs, shred it and set aside separately.

7. For the cabbage: blanch the cabbage in a pan of boiling salted water for 1 minute, then drain and cool in a bowl of iced water. Drain again.

8. Heat the duck fat in a large saucepan and fry the onion until translucent. Add the garlic, bacon, thyme and nutmeg, then the blanched cabbage. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until soft.

9. Stir in the shredded confit duck and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with the quince and sliced roast duck.

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