Polish roast duck with apples – Kaczka Pieczona z Jabłkami
Like most Polish food, the simplicity of the dish disguises it’s elegance. Duck, marinaded in lots of fresh marjoram and garlic giving it a wonderful herby perfumed flavour. Then steam-roast at a low heat by being stuffed with apples. Finished off with potatoes roast in duck fat. The end result? A heavenly, tender duck that could give pulled pork a run for it’s money in the tenderness stakes.
The ingredients for Polish roast duck with apples are fairly simple and most can be found locally. In fact the duck and the potatoes – as well as the veg to go with the meal – all came from the Cowbridge Farmer’s Market. Well worth a look if you are in the area. I also have a stall there every other Saturday in case you need some cider with your meal 😉
The caraway seed can usually be found in health food shops if you are struggling as they are used to promote digestive health.
- 1 Decent sized duck. I got ours from Madgetts poultry & game.
- 2 Eating / cooking apples. Peeled, cored and cut into into smallish chunks.
- 2 tbsp fresh marjoram leaves.
- 3-4 Garlic cloves
- 1 kg of smallish potatoes. Elwyn’s Produce has really nice pots.
- Big pinch of caraway seeds (optional).
- Plenty of salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Marinading the duck
The marinade for Polish roast duck with apples is simplicity itself. In fact it is only 4 ingredients. If you are having trouble finding fresh marjoram why not consider growing some yourself. In a nice sunny position in good soil / big pot it grows like a weed. I should know I keep having to dig the stuff up and give it to friends!
- First stuff the cavity of the duck with the apple chunks.
- Next finely chop the marjoram and crush the garlic cloves.
- Make a marinade ‘paste’ out of the garlic, marjoram and plenty of salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Rub the skin of the duck with the marinade paste, cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours to overnight.
Roasting the duck
- Preheat the oven to 240 C.
- Put the duck in a roasting tray and gently pour any meat juices and 1 cup of water into the bottom of the pan (don’t wash off the marinade).
- When the oven is up to temperature roast for ten minutes then lower the temperature to 160 C and roast for 2 hours or until * cooked.
- Every half hour prick the skin with a sharp knife to release the fat and baste the duck with the juices from the bottom of the pan.
- When there is about 1 hour left of the cooking time wash and cut the potatoes into halves / quarters to give small sized roast potatoes.
- Salt the potatoes and place around the duck, baste with the juices and sprinkle over the caraway seeds.
- Turn and baste the potatoes a few times until the duck and potatoes are done during the last hour of cooking.
A skewer / knife inserted into the thickest parts of the breast and thigh should only yield clear juices (no pink) when done.
A temperature probe thermometer will read over 75 C when inserted into the thickest parts of the breast and thigh when the meat is cooked.
Serving Polish roast duck with apples
For a traditional feel, I would recommend simple vegetables with the duck. In my case I finely cut some red cabbage then blanched and drained it. I dried it a bit in a saucepan over a medium heat, seasoned it well and stirred through some butter and lime juice.
To drink why not pair the meal with a glass of sparkling dry cider. I would recommend something with a touch of sharpness to cut through the fattiness of the meat.
In my case I chose a nice glass of Stoke Red single variety dry craft cider made by yours truly 😉