Lavender Duck with Roasted Veggies

I’m a “sucker” for anything unusual. Last year, I purchased a few different kinds of edible flowers and keep trying to sneak them into desserts and recipes. My favourite so far is lavender because of its fragrance, which is very appealing to me. And when I cam across a recipe for duck with lavender, I was hooked.

The original is slightly different, as it calls for duck breasts instead of a whole bird, and the cooking process is therefore also different. I omitted the maple syrup, as I want to keep any sugars out of my cooking, as much as possible; and in this case, I really don’t think it’s required. But here’s the original, in case you would like to follow that instead.

LAVENDER DUCK 

Ingredients, for 2 (using a 2.5 kilo duck)

  • 1 whole duck, cleaned
  • 1 medium orange, cut in half
  • 1/4 cup cumin seeds
  • 1/4 cup coriander seeds
  • 1/4 cup fennel seeds
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon edible lavender
  • butter (preferably “grass fed”)

For the Vegetables:

  • 3 large beetroots, peeled and cut into medium pieces
  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into medium pieces
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 large leek, sliced
  • olive oil

Process:

For the duck:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F).
  2. Clean and rinse the duck inside and out, letting the water run through thoroughly.
  3. Place the duck in a glass, oven proof dish. Place the orange, cut in halves, inside the duck. (I place one facing up and the other facing down, so the juices of the orange will disperse evenly.)
  4. Mix the cumin, fennel and coriander together and with a mortar and pestle, roughly crush the spices. Set aside.
  5. Rub the outside (both sides) of the duck with butter. I used about 30g.
  6. Season with sea salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. Then rub the spices on both sides. Drizzle with some of the lavender, and save the rest to drizzle on the other side, once you turn the duck over.
  8. Bake at 180C for about 1.5 hours, depending on the size of the duck, turning and basting every 20 minutes or so to cook evenly. (Recommended cooking time is about 20 minutes for every 500g.)
  9. When the duck is finished, whilst cutting, discard the orange pieces.

For the vegetables:

  1. Prepare the vegetables. Set the sweet potatoes, celery and leek aside.
  2. Place the beetroot in a glass, oven proof dish. Drizzle with olive oil, stirring to coat well.
  3. Bake for about 25-30 minutes (on the bottom shelf below the duck), then add the sweet potatoes, celery and leek to the same dish. Drizzle with some more olive oil and stir to coat well.
  4. Bake an additional 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  5. Season with sea salt and pepper, to taste.

To serve: 

Cut the duck into the desired serving pieces, serve with the vegetables, and add some fresh lavender overtop as garnish. (Don’t use too much, just a pinch, as the flavour and fragrance can be overpowering.)