The smells of Christmas set me adrift on festive memory bliss. Smell cinnamon, nutmeg, rum, allspice, nuts - think family, cosiness, happy eaters around the table, joy. If you, like me are returning to work on Monday try one last recipe filled with all smells Christmas for one last olfactory hug before returning to the daily grind. This Roast Duck recipe embodies my favourite smells of Christmas, an allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg rub with a chestnut, sausage, rum and dried plum stuffing. It sounds like a mouthful, sure does taste like one too!

Frozen, defrosted ducks may be used in this recipe. I have used and prefer fresh ones. From my personal experience with duck preparation, it is fairly simple. One of the most significant differences between duck and chicken is its fat content.  Duck fat can be strained and stored in the refrigerator (once cooled). It is an excellent cooking medium,especially for roasting potatoes.

Roast Duck with Chestnut and Sausage Stuffing
Recipe by Georgia
Prep time: 15 minutes
Frying time: 120 minutes
Total time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Yield: serves 6

Ingredients for the Duck

  • 1 fresh or frozen duck (I used a 2,2kg fresh duck)
  • 1 tablespoon fine salt
  • 1 medium orange
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Ingredients for Chestnut and Sausage Stuffing

  • 200g roasted chestnuts

  • 6 medium sized beef or pork sausages

  • Half a cup of breadcrumbs

  • 1 teaspoon butter

  • Half teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 3 sprigs rosemary

  • Half cup rum

  • 10 dried plums

  • 2 small cloves garlic

  • 1 medium orange

  • 1 medium onion

  • 2 shallots

  • Method
      1. Rinse the duck under cold water. Pat dry with paper towels.
      2. Rub the surface and internal cavity and skin with salt. Rub the skin with cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.
      3. I prefer hatching the breast. If you prefer this too then gently cut diagonally with regular intervals of 3-4 cm across the surface of the breast. Careful not to cut too deep or the skin will detach itself.
      4. Set the duck aside while you prepare the stuffing.
      5. Melt the butter on medium heat.
      6. Add finely chopped onion and shallots. Fry until soft. Add grated garlic. Stir
      7. Cut sausage into 1 cm rounds. Add to the onion mix. Turn up the heat.
      8. Fry until the sausage is slightly brown.
      9. Add rosemary. Turn down the heat.
      10. Peel and cut orange into small pieces. Add chestnuts, plums and breadcrumbs. Mix to combine.
      11. Add rum. Mix to combine. Set aside. Allow to cool.
      12. Once the stuffing has cooled press it into the duck's cavity.
      13. Seal the opening of the cavity with an orange. Cut the 1/3 off then stuff with the cut side facing the inside of the duck. Place the stuffed duck on a baking tray with the breast facing up.
      14. Place the duck in the oven. Bake for approximately 2,5 hours at 150 degrees Celsius. Note cooking times may vary depending on your oven and the weight of the duck.
      15. After 40 minutes in the oven, turn the duck with its breast facing down. Use a baster or scoop some of the liquid in the baking tray with a spoon then pour over the duck.
      16. Repeat this process after another 40 minutes. Once the duck is evenly browned remove from oven. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
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