Duck wellington & roast potatoes

by Emily Lampson

Emily Watkins’ twist on the classic beef wellington, served with duck fat roasties


1 high quality duck, broken down into the following:
2 thighs, skin and bone removed, skin reserved for confit
2 drumsticks
2 breasts, skin removed and reserved for confit, inner fillets put aside
Any extra fat from the bird
Bones reserved for the sauce

For the confit drumsticks:
1 carrot, sliced
4 tbsp olive oil
Reserved duck skin, sliced
Reserved duck fat
1 star anise
1 bay leaf
2 drumsticks

For the duxelles:
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
250g chestnut mushrooms
2 sprigs of thyme leaves

For the wellington:
Thigh meat and inner breast fillets
3 juniper berries, crushed
Zest of 1 orange
Small handful of parsley, chopped
1 batch of hot suet pastry
Confit drumsticks (see above)
Duxelles (see above)

For the sauce:
Duck bones
1 star anise
1 orange, chopped into quarters
1½ litres chicken stock

For the roast potatoes:
6 maris piper potatoes


To prepare the confit drumsticks, sweat the carrots in the oil with the duck skin, fat, star anise and bay leaf. When aromatic and the fat has rendered, add the drumsticks and bake at 150C with a lid on the pan for about 90 mins, until the meat is falling off the bone.

Leave to cool in the pan until you can handle it, then pick off all the meat and roughly shred it. Drain off the juices and place in a glass bowl or jug in the fridge to set. When set, take off the fat and keep it to roast the potatoes.

Make a sauce by roasting the duck bones with the star anise and orange quarters, then cover with the chicken stock and simmer for a couple of hours before straining and reducing.

To make the duxelles, sweat the chopped shallots on a medium heat in the oil. Place the mushrooms in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add to the pan with shallots, add the thyme and cook until the liquors have been re-absorbed.

Make a duck mince from the thigh meat and inner breast fillets, blended in a food processor. Mix together with the juniper berries, orange zest, chopped parsley, shredded confit drumstick meat and mushroom duxelles. Cook off a small amount to taste for seasoning, and adjust as necessary.

Cover a board with cling film. Spread the duck and mushroom mix across this. Place the duck breasts in the middle and roll into a roulade. Tie the cling film very tightly.

Place a large saucepan of water on the stove (or even a fish kettle if you have one) and bring up to 70C. Place the duck roulade in it and keep at a steady temperature for 1 hour.

Remove and place in a bowl of iced water to chill. Remove the cling film, pat dry and wrap in hot suet pastry as before.

Roast the maris piper potatoes in the delicious duck fat that you kept from the confit.

Deep fry the wellington at 180C for 7-8 mins until golden and crisp. Leave to rest for 15 mins before carving. Serve with the star anise and orange sauce.

Recipe: Emily Watkins
Images: John Holdship