|Rub a 3 kg (6 lb) duck thoroughly with about 125 g (¼ lb)
of coarse salt; leave it with its salt in a deep dish for 24 hours,
turning it once or twice and rubbing the salt well in. To cook it,
wash off the salt with cold water.
In a deep baking dish or enameled tin with a cover (such as a self-basting
roasting pan) put a couple of carrots, an unpeeled onion, a clove
of garlic, a bouquet of herbs, and the giblets, but not the liver
of the duck. Place the duck on top of the vegetables, pour over
about 450 ml (3/4 pint) of dry vintage cider, and then fill up with
water barely to cover the duck. Put the lid on the pan, stand this
pan in a tin of water, cook in a very slow oven (150° C/300°
F gas mark 2) for just about 2 hours.
If to be served hot, take the cover off the pan during the final
15 minutes cooking, so that the skin of the duck is baked a beautiful
pale golden-brown. If to be served cold, which is perhaps even better,
leave it to cool for half an hour or so in its cooking liquid before
taking it out.
The flavour of this duck is so good that only the simplest of salads
is required to go with it.
The stock, strained, with fat removed, makes a splendid basis for
mushroom or lentil soup, or for onion soup.