Tag Archives: Marmalade

Cor, Love a Roast Duck

Roast Duck with a Marmalade Glaze


This week, I am posting the series of posts that I failed to prepare properly before I went away on the permaculture course. I am going to document a roast duck, that fed the Big Guy and I for a week, over the course of this week. This will make me look like much more of a carnivore than I really am, because of the lamb I ate at Easter. But you can expect a number of salad and vegetable related posts to follow, I promise

As you know, I  had some marmalade left that I couldn’t sell, and have been plotting its use. As well as the flapjacks, I have been ruminating on making a meat glaze.

I have seen marmalade based glazes for ham, and chicken wings, but neither of these really hits the spot for me. Also, I didn’t want to have to strain the orangey bits from the marmalade because, having taken the trouble to hand cut them and cook them, I didn’t see the point in wasting them. So, I thought about this some more. Suddenly, I remembered duck a l’orange, that classic dish so popular in the 70s – the decade where everything was brown and orange, from the wallpaper to the food. This had to be the way forward, after all, centuries of French cooks (and a decade of British dinner parties) can’t be wrong.

Duck always makes me think of asian flavours, like star anise and ginger. In many Northern European languages, the orange translates as the Chinese apple, so I knew that this fusion would also be welcome. So I ruminated some more, and finally decided upon this recipe.

I also have a number of meals with leftovers (that may, in turn create other meals in a some kind of recipe tumblr) that will follow this, so there was really no other choice than to use a whole duck. The leftover meals will feature a logical progression in coming posts.

So, we bought an organic, free range whole duck. Disappointingly, it was minus the giblets. I like the giblets, and they really contribute to a stock – indeed, you can get a twofer on stock if you have giblets, as you can make a quick stock with them, then have a slower cooked one with the bones later on. This would have made an amazing gravy. Why don’t they do this any more? If you are going to eat meat, I think that you should eat all of the animal, it shouldn’t have to die for the best cuts only. Plus, you know, duck liver on toast would have been nice.

The duck did come with a lot of quills under the skin. Since the skin was to hold the glaze, and considering how long I had been thinking about it, I wanted nothing to spoil my enjoyment of the crisp, glazed skin. So, the quills had to go. I turned myself cross-eyed trying to remove them all. There is probably a really easy technique to doing this, and if you know what it is, please let me know in the comments.

The disadvantage of the way I come up with recipes is that I often decide to make things without having attempted the techniques that underly them. It is the same with this recipe – I have never cooked a duck before. Not being one to be beaten by a little lack of technique, I turned to the internet. There I found the Hungry Mouse. She has a beautifully illustrated step by step guide to slow roasting a duck, with an alternative glaze. As soon as I saw it, I knew that this was the way I was going to cook my duck. Essentially, the slow roasting and turning will sort of confit the duck, which may have made an interesting take on rillettes, but not this time.

Anyway, this all worked out in the end, because by the time I’d finished cogitating, and had done my research, bought the bird, and plucked it properly, it turned out it was my birthday weekend, St Patrick’s day, and the last matched in the 6 Nations, so I decided to cook up a storm for the Big Guy and I before it all kicked off for the weekend. A friend also popped by, and she ended up staying for a three course dinner. And very welcome she was, too.

Recipe: Marmalade Glazed Duck


1 medium duck

½ orange, cut into quarters

Few sprigs of thyme

3 garlic cloves, left whole

For the Glaze:

3 tbsp marmalade (orange will also do, but I had clementine)

1 tbsp Cointreau

Juice of ½ an orange

1 tsp ground ginger

2 star anise

Small pinch dried chili flakes

For the Gravy:

Juices from the roasting tray – making sure you have removed as much of the fat as possible. Keep the fat in a jar, you will definitely need this later.

2 tbsp plain flour

Small glass of red wine

500 ml stock. Duck stock would be good, if you managed to snaffle some giblets. I used rabbit stock, which was surprisingly meaty.


Cook the duck according to Hungry Mouse’s very-easy-to-follow directions and photos. The only thing I did differently was that I stuffed the bird with some aromatics (orange, thyme, garlic), which you shouldn’t pack in too tightly, it is important that air can circulate around the cavity. And I didn’t truss the legs up. The butcher (not my usual one) had “kindly” lopped off all the bits that don’t have a lot of meat on them, including everything below the bird’s drumstick, and the wing tips. Most people would appreciate this, but for me this was just even less to go in the stock pot. It also meant that there was nothing to truss or tuck up, so I didn’t.

The glaze is very easy to make, put all of the ingredients into a pan, and melt them on a low heat. Let them simmer for five minutes, then remove from the heat and allow the spices to steep in the liquid.

Once the bird has been cooking for four hours (and you have turned it, as per the directions), and you have removed the last of the fat, then glaze it with the spiced marmalade mixture. While you are doing this, turn your oven up to maximum and let it come up to temperature.

I used a pastry brush, and made sure I had glazed all of the skin, including the parsons nose. Keep brushing over the bird until there is no more glaze left.

Put the bird back into the oven, for 5-10 minutes, while the oven is high. I was also roasting some potatoes in some of the duck fat. To ensure that I was crisping the duck, not burning the potatoes, I put the potatoes on a low shelf and the duck on a higher one. When the duck was done, I turned the oven back down, put the potatoes on the top shelf and added a rhubarb and apple crumble, which we had with ice cream for dessert. Of course, this bit is optional.

Allow the bird to rest. It is really important to rest meat, it makes it a lot juicier, and relaxed meat is less likely to be tough. For steaks and cuts of meat, a good rule of thumb is to rest it in a warm place for half of the cooking time. Obviously, this doesn’t apply to a joint that you have cooked for four hours. Unless you want to eat the bird cold, in which case, go right ahead. Instead, I covered it with tin foil and a couple of tea towels then I set it aside for the time it took me to make a gravy, and for us to eat our starter (wild garlic salad with quails egg, and ramson pesto – which will feature in a salad post soon).

Make the gravy while the bird rests. First, heat up the stock in a pan.

Even removing as much of the fat as you can, you will still have enough to make the beginnings of a roux. Stir the flour into the fat and roasting pan juices. Put the roasting tin on the heat, and cook the flour out for a minute or two, stirring, so it doesn’t catch.This is so that your gravy doesn’t taste like raw flour later.

Deglaze the pan using the red wine. You will need the heat fairly high, and you will need to poke at all the stuck on meaty bits, so that they come away from the bottom of the dish.

If you want to be cheffy, or don’t want any lumps in your gravy, then strain the deglazed juices through a sieve. I usually just use a whisk to combine the fat and flour, so I don’t get huge lumps, and don’t bother to sieve it. Either way, add it to the stock, and continue to heat while you eat your starter, to allow the gravy to thicken

Roast Duck, Kale, Vichy Carrots & Roast Potatoes

Dinner is Served!

I served this with some braised kale, vichy carrots, and potatoes roasted in the duck fat. It was definitely a good match for the glaze, which made really crispy skin, even though the meat was falling off the bone. A really good start to a busy weekend.


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Making the Most of a Marmalade Mistake

Breakfast  Flapjacks

What a Comeback

The clementine marmalade I made caught slightly on the bottom of the pan. This is what comes of trying to cook and blog at the same time! I only took my eye off the ball for a couple of seconds, while I had a spoonful of the golden, orangey preserve waiting for the fridge test.

Most of the marmalade was fine, so I bottled it up. But there was about half a jar on the bottom which had gone too far. As you know, I cannot bear to waste food, and this is no exception. I won’t inflict this on my friends, but there is no reason why I can’t still use it.

Marmalade makes a great glaze for both sweet and savoury food. I did bake a yoghurt cake, and then melted 2 tbsp of the marmalade with a tbsp of water to make a glaze. I poured the glaze over the cake while both were still warm, and then left the lot to cool in the tin. Unfortunately, I have never made a yoghurt cake before, and clearly didn’t beat the egg, yoghurt and oil together enough, so it was too dense, so I haven’t photographed it. It was fine, when splashed with a little Cointreau (or orange juice would also be fine), and served with fresh Greek yoghurt.

I have also kept a little marmalade in reserve, because I have another glaze in mind, but this time for a nice duck, a wild one if I can get hold of it. I shall add shallots and thyme, and make sure I baste the bird as it cooks. I guess you can expect to see it here, if it is a success.

However, I left the lion’s share of the leftover marmalade for the recipe I am about to share with you now. The first thing that came to my mind when it was clear I would have some marmalade was flapjacks. I’m not really sure why, but I knew that I had to try it. I had a feeling that the thick cut, sticky marmalade would be the perfect foil for the oats. Both of them are traditionally associated with breakfast, and I really thought this could fly. I thought about it some more over the next few days, and it became clear that I could substitute the marmalade for the usual golden syrup.

There is a golden ratio for the usual kind of flapjack. As long as you stick with this ratio, then you can’t go far wrong. It also works for metric, imperial, volume, or if you prefer to measure your ingredients by a more eccentric means. The ratio is as follows:

  • 2 Golden Syrup
  • 4 Butter
  • 6 Brown Sugar
  • 8 Oats (or oats & other dry ingredients, such as seeds)

This is the ratio that I was taught as a small kid, and it has never yet done me wrong. You can then add more stuff, like dried or fresh fruits, candied peel or crystallised ginger, spices, chocolate, and so on. I always use a mix of whole rolled oats, and the finer, chopped sort that is best for porridge, because I find this gives it a better texture without falling apart. You can add seeds and other grains as well if you like, but you should adjust the amount of oats, so that you maintain the ratio.

These were unconventional flapjacks, not just in the sense of substituting syrup for marmalade, but I have to admit in this case, I also decided to adjust the proportions of the ratio as well. I wanted the orange to really shine in the mix, and the marmalade has a lot of sugar in it anyway. It may not please your grandmother, but it worked for me in this instance.

After a bit of fiddling, I settled on a 4:4:4:8 ratio, and the results worked really well. The bars are chewy, albeit in a slightly different, stickier way than regular golden syrup ones, but I like it.

I prefer my flapjacks on the chewier side, but if you are one of those people who like crunchier flapjacks, you may need to add some golden syrup, or possibly more butter to prevent the marmalade making the bar too hard in the  (slightly) longer cooking process. It is not something that I experimented with this time, but I would be happy to if others are interested. You don’t have to use up marmalade mistakes – ordinary marmalade from a jar will do just as well here.

The amounts I am going to give were enough for a 20 x 25 cm tin. I tend to line my tins with baking paper, because it makes the finished flapjacks a lot easier to remove from the tin, but you can just grease the tin really well, it is up to you. If I were a more dedicated baker, I would invest in that reuseable silicon parchment stuff, to reduce waste. I have got a birthday coming up, so who knows?

Recipe: Breakfast Flapjacks


160 g marmalade

160 g butter

160 g brown sugar (I used light muscovado and demerara, because it is what I had)

300 g mix of whole and chopped rolled oats

30 g pumpkin seeds

30 g dried cranberries


Put your oven on at 180 °C.

Melt the marmalade, butter, and sugar over a medium heat, stirring so they don’t catch on the bottom of the pan.

Mix the oats, pumpkin seeds, and cranberries in a large bowl.

When the sweet goods and the butter have all melted and combined together well, pour onto the dried ingredients, and mix well to ensure that they are all well coated and no streaks of white oats remain.

Press the flapjack mix into the baking tray. You want to press it in fairly well, to help the mixture set into lovely bars. Then smooth it over with the back of a metal spoon, making the top smooth, and the flapjack layer as even as you can.

Bake it for about 25-30 minutes, depending on how chewy or crunchy you want it. Flapjacks are really forgiving, so they are easy to cook with other things, to maximise your energy use from the oven. They won’t collapse if you open your oven at the wrong time, and don’t really absorb other flavours. I haven’t tried cooking them at the same time as smoked fish, for example, but they are fine t go in with stews, other cakes, roasting meat etc.

When they are nice and golden all over, then remove them from the oven. You will need to mark them into the squares or rectangles that you intend to serve them in fairly soon after coming out of the oven. I got 12 bars from this amount of  mixture. Then they should be allowed to cool completely in the baking tray.

These flapjacks are really tasty, and the pieces of orange and cranberry really do add an interesting texture, as well as the marmalade, giving them a bit more kick than your average flapjack. Marmalade – it’s not just for toast, you know!


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Oh My, Darling Clementine Marmalade

Clementine Maramalade

The Business at Breakfast

Marmalade is pretty British, as far as preserves go. Even then, there is controversy as to whether you should have the zest chunky or fine, and some people even think that you should have no zest at all. They are entitled to their opinion, although I think that is really just a citrus jelly!

I find that it is not until you leave a country that you start to miss the things that you used to take for granted. Marmalade is one of those things, and I enjoy making preserves. However, I have not been able to find reasonably priced marmalade, and neither have I been able to find Seville oranges here either. Seville oranges are much sharper than their normal edible counterpart, and thus make the perfect balance of sweet and sharp that is required in most good preserves. They are also only in season for a short time, December to early February, so most marmalade production happens in the early part of the year, when it is too cold for planting, but the festivities over Christmas are out of the way.

Having resigned myself to the fact that I cannot make traditional orange marmalade, I am currently embarking on a series of experimental marmalades including lime, lemon, and grapefruit.

Heather at Breakfast by the Sea suggested that I try clementine marmalade. If you haven’t already seen it, I really recommend you have a look at her blog, it has great recipes and some really beautiful photography.

I hadn’t thought of clementines, but they are a better replacement for Seville oranges, if you want a sharp, but still distinctly orangey flavoured marmalade. This one is the perfect trial marmalade for a recipe that I am developing, which I hope to blog about later.

I found some lovely clementines on our local market with the glossy leaves still attached. This appeals in the waste-reduction geek in me, because citrus leaves make a really tasty tea. Give them a good wash, and then steep them in boiling water. Add a bit of cinnamon stick if you want to, it will be just as good.

As with many of my preserves, I used Pam Corbin’s Preserves book. I used the cut fruit method for marmalade, but amended the amounts slightly, for what I thought was suitable for the clementines.

Medium Cut Peel for Marmalade

Not as Fine as I Would Like

Recipe: Clementine Marmalade


1.5 kg clementines

3 l water

200 ml lemon juice

2 kg sugar

5 tbsp cointreau.

I probably took this a little too far while trying to get this batch to set, and it had gone from beautifully bright and orangey to having a more caramel flavour. If I had pushed it any further, I would definitely have burnt it. To compensate, and inject a little more orange, I stirred through the Cointreau after the jam was off the heat, but while it was setting before potting up. You can also leave the Cointreau out, if you prefer.

Having done a little reading up, it seems that clementines catch a little easier than Seville oranges. This being the case, you need to watch it like a hawk as it approaches the setting point. I would even take the unusual step of advocating stirring at this point, so that parts of the marmalade cannot catch and burn. As always, the setting point is reached when the jam reaches 104.5°C, or when it wrinkles when you perform the fridge test.

You need to leave it in the pan to set a little, so that the zesty bits don’t all sink to the bottom of the jars when you pot them up. Pot the hot jam into hot, sterile jars and seal immediately. Lovely, tasty orange marmalade. Really great on toast for breakfast. Thanks for the suggestion, Heather.

I left a layer on the bottom, in case I did catch any of it. This will feature in another recipe later on. Well, you didn’t  think I would throw it out, did you?


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