Updated Nov 24, 2014Chatelaine
ducks, each about 2.25 kg
fenugreek seeds, optional
onions, finely chopped
2 1/2-in. piece
fresh ginger, peeled and minced, about 1/4 cup
chopped Italian parsley
chopped dried apricots
freshly squeezed lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper
- For even cooking, bring ducks to room temperature before roasting. Clean cavities, saving livers, gizzards and hearts. Pat cavities and outer skin dry with paper towels. Prick skin with a fork so lining of fat will ooze out as it melts.
- Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Have all ingredients chopped, minced and measured out before starting to cook. Finely mince livers, gizzards and hearts and set aside. Heat oil in a large frying pan. Add cumin, fennel and fenugreek seeds, if using, and immediately stir over medium-high heat. In less than 30 seconds, cumin seeds will begin to darken. Immediately add onions and ginger. Stir-fry until onions turn a little brown, about 3 minutes. Continuing to stir-fry, scatter in minced livers, gizzards and hearts. When they have lost their red colour, add tomato sauce and parsley. Stir in rice.
- Turn heat to low and stir in raisins, apricots and pine nuts. Stir fairly frequently to thoroughly blend ingredients, about 5 minutes. Then remove pan from heat and stir in sugar, lemon juice and cayenne. Taste and then add salt, pepper and a little more sugar and lemon juice, if needed.
- Loosely stuff mixture into ducks. (If there is any left over, reheat in a covered casserole dish during last half-hour of roasting.) Sew openings closed or fasten with skewers. Then place ducks in a roasting pan, breast-side up.
- To brown ducks, roast, uncovered, in 400F (200C) oven for 30 minutes. Drain fat from pan. Then reduce oven temperature to 350F (180C) and continue roasting, uncovered, for another 1-1/2 hours to thoroughly cook ducks. To check if ducks are done, prick skin; juices should run clear yellow and a drumstick should move easily.
Spiced rice fragrant with ginger and fennel and packed with pine nuts and apricots complements this rich roasted duck.