Spiced Mallard with honey roast carrots and beetroot, on a bed of chard.
Wild Mallard is in season from September to February, but you could always use duck that are farmed all year round (just be sure to get one that has been reared free range and organic). I like to serve this particular dish with the best of the seasons root veg, and I can’t get enough of beetroot so I’ll eat it whatever way I can! Local honey also complements the flavours well here.
For the Mallard
- 1 medium sized mallard
- 1 tbsp Fennel Seeds
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1/2 tbsp peppercorns
- For the vegetables:
- 350g carrots (I got lucky with these coloured charentay carrots) cleaned
- 4 medium sized beetroot. Peeled and quartered
- 2 tbsps of local honey
- 1tbsp cumin seeds
- couple of pinches of chilli flakes
For the chard
- 6/8 large leaves, stripped of the hard rib (I’ve kept these for a stir fry)
- Juice of a half a lemon
- zest of a lemon
- large knob of butter
For the ‘gravy’
- 1 carrot diced
- 1 shallot chopped
- 1 stick of celery diced
- 300ml of chicken stock
- 100ml of Madeira or similar
1. Start by combing your carrots, beetroots, honey cumin and chilli in a large roasting pan.
2. Place them in an oven (180c) for 40 mins.
3. Brown your mallard all over in a hot pan, don’t take too long over this, just a nice colour all over
4. Blitz the fennel, corianders and pepper together.
5. Coat the mallard with honey and sprinkle your spice all over.
6. Place into the hot oven for approx 20 mins
7. Now make your gravy.
8. Fry the mirepoix together in a little olive oil
9. When soft add the stock.
10. Reduce this down then add the maderia
11. Continue to let this reduce.
12. Strain the veg and reduce once more until you have a glossy thickened gravy.
13. Remove mallard and let it rest for 15 minutes (it will be bloody, if you’d rather not have that look, roast for another 10).
14. Wash the chard but leave the water on the leaves, this is enough for the cooking process.
15. Place into a large hot pan (I use a wok), add a knob of butter and a squeeze of lemon juice.
16. Check the veg are now soft and a little gnarly.
17. Take the breasts off the mallard crown (I keep the carcass for stock)
18. Plate up with the chard first, followed by sliced breasts, with veg scattered around