Dark Glossy Fruited Duck

This is a dish evocative of Morocco where meats, spices and fruits are often mixed together – with delicious results. It is very simple to prepare and so it is perfect for a dinner party. Serve with saffron-flavoured rice or Basmati Rice with Crisped Grains and a green salad.


  • 4 joints of duck or 1 large duck, jointed
  • Sunflower oil
  • 75 g (3 oz) ready-to-eat dried apricots
  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 3 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 150 ml (¼ pint) apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey mixed with 150 ml (¼ pint) warm water
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 50 g (2 oz) unskinned whole almonds
  • Good handful of fresh mint leaves, chopped roughly
  • Salt


Prick the skin of the duck joints all over with a fork. Heat a little oil in a large frying pan and fry the duck joints over a fairly high heat on both sides until they are just brown. Transfer the joints to a large saucepan and add the apricots, garlic, spices, cayenne pepper, apple juice, honey and water mixture, lemon juice and almonds. Bring the liquid to the boil, then cover and simmer gently for about 45 minutes or until the duck is tender and just cooked through, but still slightly pink.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the joints of duck, the apricots and almonds and arrange on a serving dish with the almonds mostly on top. Keep the dish warm in a very low oven.

Boil the remaining saucepan juices fiercely until they are much reduced, thickened and glossy. Add salt and more cayenne pepper to taste. Just before serving, reheat the sauce, stir in the chopped mint leaves and spoon the sauce over the duck joints.