Surprising to see a British dish named for Normandy, but we must not forget the long history of commerce and conquest between the two lands. The exceptional qualities of Normandy Roast Duck reflect the best of English and Norman cuisines with great flavor.
Howe’er it be, it seems to me,
’T is only noble to be good.
Kind hearts are more than coronets,
And simple faith than Norman blood.
—Alfred Lord Tennyson – Lady Clara Vere de Vere. Stanza 7
- 4 pounds duckling; oven ready
- 10 fluid ounces dry cider
- 4 Tablespoons heavy cream
- 3 ounces butter
- 4 ounces fresh white breadcrumbs
- 1 pound cooking apples
- salt and pepper
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 pinch cinnamon; ground
- Wipe the duckling, prick the skin all over and rub with salt. Set aside while preparing the stuffing. Melt the butter in a heavy frying pan, add the breadcrumbs and stir over moderate heat until the butter is absorbed and the crumbs are golden brown.
- Peel core and dice the apples. Add to the pan, cover with a lid and cook gently until the apples have softened - about 15 minutes.
- Draw off the heat, stir ingredients gently and add a good seasoning of salt and pepper, the sugar and cinnamon.
- Spoon the stuffing inside the duckling and close tail end with a skewer. Set duckling in a roasting tin with cold water.
- Place in a moderate (350 degrees F/180C/Mk 4) oven and cook for 20 minutes per pound.
- About 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time (after 1 hour 5 minutes or so) pour off accumulated fat from the roasting tin (reserve for other uses) and pour the cider over the duckling.
- Baste from time to time for the rest of the cooking time.
- Lift duckling from tin, set aside in a warm place while finishing the sauce.
- Set the roasting pan over moderate heat, remove any remaining fat and let the juices reduce to around half volume. Meanwhile carve duck and set on a serving dish.
- Spoon stuffing into a small bowl.
- Stir the cream into the gravy and strain over the duckling portions.
- Serve with the stuffing.