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      RECIPE TITLE "DUCK BAKED IN CIDER" from Is There a Nutmeg in the House? : Essays on Practical Cooking with More than 150 Recipes Copyright © The Estate of Elizabeth David, 2000

    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.

    --Unpublished, 1960s.

    HOT! We recommend:

    Is There a Nutmeg in the House? Is There a Nutmeg in the House?
    Along with M.F.K. Fisher and Julia Child, Elizabeth David changed the way we think about and prepare food. Her nine books, written with impeccable wit and considerable brilliance, helped educate the taste (and taste buds) of the postwar generation. Insisting on authentic recipes and fresh ingredients, she taught that food need not be complicated to be delicious. Elizabeth David, who died in 1992, was a very private person who seldom gave interviews. However, a 1984 collection of her journalism entitled An Omelet and a Glass of Wine greatly revealed David to her readers and is now considered the best food book written in the 20th century. Now, nearly twenty years later, Viking will publish the sequel to that landmark book. Is There a Nutmeg in the House? contains material that has never appeared in previous collections. The emphasis throughout is on the practical aspects of cooking and eating and the book includes 150 recipes from around the world. Delightful essays on her various likes and dislikes–from the wonders of nutmeg to the utterly useless garlic press–complete a unique picture of what for so long made David the most influential writer on food in the English language.



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