Galantine of Mallard

Small mallard (wild ducks) make an ideal dinner for two, being an unique and delicious dish for a romantic evening. In this recipe, I am preparing the mallard as a galantine, which means that the bird is de-boned and then stuffed with a farce. Once cooked, the gallantine can be served hot or may be refrigerated and served cold.

In regards to wild ducks, they vary in size from small, around 500g, to large, up to 4.5kg. Mallards are the closest to the domestic farmed duck in taste and texture, but are less fatty. In Britain, the wild duck season runs from the end of August to the end of January.

Portions: 2 servings

Preparation: 45 minutes-1 hour

Cooking: 40 minutes, 10 minutes resting

Ingredients

Mallard Duck

  • 1 mallard (around 1kg)
  • 3 smoked streaky bacon rashers, rinds removed and flatten slightly with the side of a knife
  • 2 thin slices of orange

Farce

  • 200g pork mince
  • 100g cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped
  • 6 dates, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp cointreau
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped sage and oregano
  • Maldon salt and freshly ground pepper

To Cook

  • salt
  • Olive Oil

Method

Dates

  1. Marinate the dates in the cointreau in a covered container at room temperature for at least 2 hours or overnight

To Debone the Mallard

  1. Place the mallard on a chopping board breast side down. Using a sharp knife cut along the centre of the back of the duck. Scrape the skin and meat from the backbone and follow the bone to remove the meat from the carcass until you get to the top of the breast. Repeat this process with the other side of the duck being carefully not to cut through the skin. When you get to the top of the rib cage very carefully cut the top of the breastbone from the flesh so that the breast remains intact and the meat remains whole.
  2. Hold up one of the mallard's leg (thigh up) with one hand and scrape down the bone (from the flesh side) removing the flesh. Cut around the skin at the base of the leg and pull the bone out. Repeat this process with the other leg and wings, removing the wing tips (there isn't any worthwhile flesh there). Turn the legs and wings flesh inside the mallard.

Farce

  1. Place the pork mince in a bowl with the chestnuts, dates, herbs and seasoning. Mix the mixture together well with a wooden spoon so that all the ingredients are well combined.
  2. Place the boned mallard skin side down. Spread the farce evenly over the flesh side of the mallard. Bring the sides together sealing in the farce. Reform the goose into a cylinder shape and use a long skewer to secure the flesh together. Place the orange slices on the centre of the breast and wrap in the bacon rashers If preparing in advance cover and refrigerate until ready to cook (the galantine can be prepared 1-2 days in advance dependant on the freshness of the ingredients).

To Cook

  1. Preheat an oven to 200°C. Rub a generous pinch of salt into the mallard and coat in a little olive oil and place on a baking tray breast side up. Cook on the centre shelf of the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 180C and continue to cook for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes

To Serve

  1. Carefully pull the skewer from the mallard and slice so that there are 3-4 slices per portion. Pour a little cooking juices over the slices and serve with your choice of accompaniment.