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Roast Salted Duck With Rum Soaked Apples And Thyme Lentils

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Roast Salted Duck With Rum Soaked Apples And Thyme Lentils

Before refrigeration meat was salted for preservation. Here we have modified this old culinary method to flavour a simple and elegant roast duck.


  • 1 duck (about 1-1.2kg)
  • 3 tblsp iodised salt or ½ cup flaky sea salt
  • 2 tblsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • ½ orange
  • handful of fresh thyme
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 250 grams (1 cup) lentils (see Cook’s Tip)
  • 2-4 tblsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 5 cups chicken stock or water
  • 4 eating apples
  • 1 cup dark rum (Dark rum is essential here)
  • 50 grams butter
  • 2 tblsp golden syrup


  1. Rinse the duck well and pat dry. Place in a shallow ceramic dish and rub well with the salt and chopped thyme. Cover and refrigerate for 1 day. It is best if you can turn the duck once or twice during this time.
  2. Rinse the duck very, very well to remove all the salt. Place the onion in a shallow oven-proof dish and sit the duck on top. Placing the orange half and thyme into the cavity of the duck.
  3. Roast at the top of a 200°C oven for 50-60 minutes. The duck should be crispy, golden and well-done. Stand for 10 minutes before carving and serving on the Thyme Scented Lentils and Rum Soaked Apples and any remaining cooking juices (see Cook?s Tips). Garnish with orange rind and thyme leaves.

Thyme Scented Lentils

  1. Heat a dash of oil in a pan and cook the onion until softened.
  2. Add the garlic, lentils, half the thyme, chicken stock or water and simmer for 1 hour until tender.
  3. Stir in ½ cup of the juices from the duck and the remaining thyme. Season to taste with pepper. If wished add ¼ cup rum from the soaking apples as well.

Rum Soaked Apples

  1. Peel and core the apples and cut into 6ths. Place in a bowl and pour over the rum. Cover with a saucer so that the apples stay submerged under the rum and allow to marinate for 1-2 hours.
  2. Heat the butter in a frying pan and gently cook the apple pieces until golden brown and tender, but not mushy. (Reserve the rum for the lentils and duck). Toss the apples with the golden syrup before serving.

Cooks Tips

- Use tongs to carefully lift up the cooked duck and allow all the juices from the cavity to pour into the baking dish. Be careful as the juices will be hot. Strain and skim off fat. Reheat juice and serve with the duck. - We used Moroccan red lentils. Alternatively, use brown lentils. Do not use the small variety of red lentils.

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