It is true, roasting meat does take a long time to do, but I promise this dish takes literally minutes of preparation and then you can leave it to do its thing until it’s ready to eat (if you don’t mind the waiting). I had a couple of friends (“handy volunteers” as they called themselves) round for dinner mid-week. They normally finish work slightly later than me, so this was perfect.
In this recipe for Roast duck with thyme, I use duck legs (including the thigh). This does not compromise on flavour (compared with duck breast) and is cheaper too. You can of course use duck breasts if you wish, just make sure they have the skin on too. You won’t need any extra fat/oil in this meal, as there’s already plenty in the duck, which oozes out, permeating the potatoes and makes everything golden crisp.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 1.5 – 2 hours
- duck thighs – one per person
- baking potatoes – one per person
- A couple of sprigs of fresh thyme
- Salad leaves
- 2 tbsp Olive oil (for the salad dressing)
- 1 tbsp Cider vinegar
- A spritz of lemon juice
- A few turns of pepper
- Preheat your oven to 180°C. Put the duck thighs in a large roast dish – you’ll need one with nigh sides as lots of duck fat will ooze out. If you don’t have a large enough dish, split over two.
- Chop the baking potatoes (skins left on, but given a quick wash) into 2cm squares and scatter around the legs, so they’re a snug fit.
- Sprinkle over a large pinch of salt and coupe of turns of freshly ground pepper. Top with a few sprigs of fresh thyme and put in the oven and leave to cook.
- After an hour of cooking, I usually take it out for a minute and turn the roasting potatoes around to ensure they’re evenly coated in the duck fat and juices. I also put the oven up to 200° C for the last half and hour of cooking to ensure everything is extra crispy. If it needs a little bit longer, leave it in the oven until it’s crisp enough for you.
I served my duck and potatoes with some shop-bought salad leaves (mid-week time saving). In a small bowl I make a dressing, by whisking together olive oil, cider vinegar, a spritz of lemon and a small pinch of salt.
This could not be easier to make, and I’ve yet to find anyone who can resist duck!