- For the duck:
- 1 free-range duck, giblets removed
- 2 t ground cinnamon
- 1 t ground cardamon
- 1 t ginger flakes
- 2 t chilli rings, finely chopped
- 1 t brown sugar
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- For the salt crust:
- 2 kg coarse salt
- 3 naartjies, zested
- 3–4 free-range egg whites
- For the rhubarb-and-plum pickle:
- 12 sticks rhubarb, cut into pieces
- 12 Woolworths cherry plums, (or 6 plums, halved)
- 1⁄2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1⁄2 cup maple syrup
Prick the duck all over with the tip of a small, sharp knife. Pour boiling water over the bird and allow to stand for 2–3 minutes, turning often. Drain and dry thoroughly with kitchen paper.
Mix the spices, sugar and seasoning, and cover the duck completely with the rub. Chill for 2 hours, uncovered.
To make the salt crust, blitz the salt in a blender until fine. Mix the salt and naartjie zest until well combined. Mix in the egg whites until it becomes a wet paste – you may need more egg whites.
Remove the duck from the fridge and preheat the oven to 200°C.
Use half of the mixture to make a salt bed in a roasting pan. Place the duck onto the bed of salt. Cover the duck with the remaining salt, making a thick crust.
Roast for 1 hour, then reduce the temperature to 180°C and roast for a further 30 minutes. Rest for 20 minutes.
Crack and remove the crust, and lift the duck out of the pan.
Break up and serve with pickled rhubarb and plums served on salad leaves and some of the pickle juice.
To make the rhubarb-and-plum pickle, place all the ingredients in a pan and cook over a low heat, covered, for 15 minutes or until soft.
Cook's note: Think you can't roast a whole duck? Think again. We say you can. And you will.
Delicious straight from the oven, sure, but if you have leftovers you’ll never look back...