Roast mallard with autumn greens and ceps

Serves 4

I do love wild duck; it's got a different kind of gaminess to the other game birds and has a flavour that suits all sorts of ingredients, from wild berries to earthy mushrooms.

2 plump wild ducks
60g butter
200-250g greens like curly kale, hispi or Savoy cabbage, trimmed and cut into 2cm chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ a glass of port
100ml chicken stock
1tbsp cornflour, mixed with a little water
150-200g ceps, or other wild mushrooms, cleaned and sliced or quartered
½tbsp rapeseed oil
1tbsp chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 230C/gas mark 8. Put the ducks into a roasting tray, brush with a little butter and season with salt and pepper. Cook the birds for 30 minutes, then remove from the roasting tray and leave on a plate to rest and catch the juices.

Add the port and stock to the roasting tray and stir well and simmer for a minute, add the cornflour mixture to thicken a little, simmer for a minute, season and then strain through a fine-meshed sieve into a saucepan.

Meanwhile, cook the greens in boiling, salted water for a few minutes, then drain, season and add a little butter and return to the pan with a lid to keep warm. While the greens are cooking, heat the rapeseed oil in a frying pan with a knob of butter and cook the ceps on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, seasoning them lightly as they are cooking and turning them in the pan so they cook evenly, then stir in the parsley.

To serve the duck, either chop each in half with a heavy kitchen knife and serve them on the bone, or remove the legs and then cut the breasts away from the bone and slice them into 2-3 pieces.

Spoon the greens on to serving plates, arrange the duck on top, spoon around a little sauce and scatter the ceps on top.

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