One bird will serve 3-4 people
The season for wild mallard runs from early September to late January, though many consider November and December to be the best time to seek out mallard.
While we have become accustomed to being able to enjoy duck all year round, unfortunately much of the domestic duck available to us in supermarkets will have been raised indoors. Wild mallard, therefore, is the best way to ensure this bird has actually spent a considerable time in its natural environment which creates a strong tasting lean meat. As with so much of wild game you must be careful not to overcook the meat as it can become very dry. We’ve put together a few tips below for cooking wild mallard.
The bird will arrive well packaged, remove from the packaging, wash with cold water and dry with kitchen towel, place on a plate, then cover with a tea towel and allow the bird to reach room temperature.
Always prick the skin and season your mallard inside and out with salt and cracked black pepper. Lard and butter can be rubbed into the bird to keep it moist during the cooking process – this is recommended for a bird over 600g. For a bird that weighs approximately 450g we recommend preheating your oven to 230°C/450°F/Gas Mark 8 and then placing your bird breast-side up in a baking tray, then roast for 10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and cook for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to rest in a warm place for 10 to 15 minutes. We think serving your mallard slightly pink is the best way. Carefully place the mallard on a chopping board and remove the legs (cut through the hip bone) and breasts from the carcase (you may wish to keep the carcase to prepare a stock).
Goes well with:
Orange, apple, pomegranate and red cabbage.
Warning: Bird may contain shot.