Recipe and Styling Phillippa Cheifitz Food preparation Nici Beaumont Photograph Russell Smith Ingredients: to prepare the duck 2 ducks, about 2kg each, cleaned sea salt and milled black pepper for the spicy paste marinade 1 preserved lemon 6 garlic cloves, crushed 2t ground ginger 1t cumin 1t smoked Spanish paprika 1t cayenne pepper 2T olive oil 4T lemon oil (from the preserved lemons) sea salt and milled black pepper to finish the duck 1–2T olive oil 4 large onions, halved and sliced very thinly into crescents ½t ground turmeric ½t saffron threads 2 cups boiling hot chicken stock about 150g green olives, rinsed for serving toasted couscous green olive paste lightly dressed baby salad leaves Directions: Pour boiling water over the ducks and drain. Prick the skin all over, then season lightly inside and out. Insert a vertical roaster into each duck and place in a large baking pan. (Roasting the ducks balanced on vertical metal roasters is an excellent way of getting rid of the fat and allowing the whole area of skin to crisp.) Allow to dry while heating the oven to 220°C. Roast for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and pour off the fat (but reserve it if desired – it’s great for roasting potatoes). Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C. Return to the oven and roast for another hour. Remove and cool. Cut out the backbone and wing tips and carve each duck into four neat portions. To make the marinade, remove the flesh from the inside of the preserved lemon and chop, retaining the outer rind to use in the sauce. Mix the lemon flesh with the remaining marinade ingredients. Spread the spicy paste marinade onto the roasted duck portions and allow to stand while preparing the onions. To finish the duck, gently heat the oil in a shallow oven-proof pan. Add the onions and cook gently until very soft but still pale. Stir in the turmeric and cook for about a minute, while stirring. Dissolve the saffron in the hot stock and pour over the onions. Add the marinated duck portions in a single layer and complete roasting at 180°C for 20 minutes. Add fine strips of the reserved lemon rind and the olives, and roast for a further 10 minutes or until the duck is browned and very tender. Make toasted couscous by lightly browning uncooked couscous grains in a large pan – remove from the heat when some of the grains have started to brown; watch closely to prevent burning – before following the package instructions to cook it. Serve the duck with toasted couscous and green olive paste on the side, accompanied by a bowl of lightly dressed baby salad leaves. Serves 8 This recipe is from the February 2012 House and Leisure Food issue.