The Sunday before a bank holiday appears more exciting than any Saturday could possibly ever be. Being self-employed, this day of frantically contrived lassitude is alien (most days it comes naturally), but I’m quite happy to get on board with the traditional pub session on Sunday evening. Last night I popped a duck in the oven at 5.30, moseyed off to the Swimmer and was back at 8 to knock up a salad and a few spuds while the duck rested. Easy.
1 duck of large proportions
Pepper and sugar
– Remove the duck from the fridge an hour before you intend to cook it. Prick the skin all over with a fork and salt prodigiously. Leave for 30 minutes (turn the oven on now if you like – 220C).
– Pat the duck dry, season with pepper and bang in the oven. Roast for 15 minutes then turn down to 180C. Roast for a further 2 hours.
– Meanwhile, peel and segment the grapefruit, taking a sharp paring knife to remove the peel before removing half the segments. There should be no pith or membrane. Roughly chop the removed segments and set aside. Juice the other half of the grapefruit and whisk in twice the volume of olive oil to grapefruit juice, along with salt, pepper, a pinch of sugar and a squeeze of lemon. Refrigerate until ready.
– When the bird is cooked and the skin is crispy, remove from the oven and rest. Finish the salad by tossing the dressing through watercress and chicory leaves, thinly sliced radish and grapefruit bits.
– Carve/pull apart the duck and serve with the salad. Some new potatoes weren’t amiss.