In this mouthwatering recipe the vegetables are cooked round the duck and take on plenty of flavour, yet without being too fatty. If fresh peas are not in season - they are only available from June to August—you can use frozen instead.
1 oven ready duckling, weighing about 2 kg (4 1/2 lb), thawed if frozen
salt and pepper
16 pickling or small onions, skinned
50 g (2 oz) smoked streaky bacon rashers, rinded and diced
450 g (1 lb) shelled fresh or frozen peas
60 ml (4 tbsp) chicken stock
few sprigs of fresh herbs, such as savory, thyme, mint
1. Weigh the duckling, prick the skin all over with a sharp skewer or fork and rub with salt. Place duckling on a wire rack or trivet in a roasting tin. Roast at 180°C (350°F) mark 4 for 30 - 35 minutes per 450 g (1 lb) .
2. Thirty minutes before the end of cooking time, drain off the fat from the roasting tin, transferring 30 ml (2 tbsp) of it to a saucepan, and discarding the remainder. Add the onions to the pan and cook, turning frequently, until lightly browned. Add the bacon and cook for 2 minutes, until the fat starts to run.
3. If using fresh peas, blanch them for 3 minutes, refresh and drain well. Do not blanch frozen peas. Mix the peas with the onions, bacon and herbs and season to taste with pepper.
4. Stir the stock into the sediment in the roasting tin, then stir in the pea mixture. Return the duckling to the roasting tin, still on the rack, and continue cooking for the remaining 30 minutes. Serve the duckling on a large platter surrounded by the vegetables and the cooking juices.