- Bay Leaves (1 or 2)
- Black Peppercorns (3 tsp)
- Clove Buds (6 whole)
- Ducks (1 x 6lb bird or 4 portions)
- Garlic Cloves (20 at least!)
- Hair-dryer (1 !!!)
- Juniper Berries (12)
- Sea Salt (to taste)
- Thyme (1 tsp dried)
1) Rinse the ducks, pat dry and remove any excess fat from the neck and cavity.
2) Mix the juniper berries, cloves, black peppercorns, thyme, bay leaf and sea salt and grind in a pestle and mortar or coffee grinder.
3) Crush six garlic cloves and combine with the ground mixture. Rub the garlic-spice mix all over those ducks – on the skin, under the skin, in the cavity, everywhere!
4) Put another 6 whole garlic cloves inside each duck cavity, then cover & refrigerate for 24 hours.
5) Remove from the fridge for 1-2 hours to reach room temperature. Preheat the oven to 450F.
5) Now for the interesting bit… Take a hair-dryer (yes, keep with us on this one) and give the ducks a good blasting inside and out for about ten minutes.
6) Gently prick the skin all over with a fork, trying not to pierce the flesh.
7) Place the ducks, breast-side up, on a rack in a roasting tin and place into the oven for 15 minutes, basting every so often.
8) Turn the heat down to 350F, throw another 6 whole garlic cloves around each bird and roast for another 20 minutes.
9) Turn the ducks over and cook for another 15 minutes before turning back over to roast for about another ten minutes or so, until the skin is crispy and the flesh is pink and juicy.
10) Leave them to rest for 15 minutes then serve.