Rhubarb is particulary suited to the rich gamey flavours of wild duck / Jason Lowe
Serves 4 as a starter

January is the best time for wild duck as they get really nice and plump as they feed themselves up to cope with all this cold weather. Sadly, the game bird season is almost over so this will be the last game bird recipe you will be getting from me until August.

Wild and tame duck are well suited to sharp and acidic partners and rhubarb is particulary suited to the rich gamey flavours of wild duck.

You can use mallard, teal or widgeon for this recipe.

1 wild duck
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A good knob of butter, softened
2 large sticks of rhubarb, trimmed and washed
A couple of handfuls of small winter-salad leaves and herbs such as pennywort, bittercress, rocket, treviso, etc

For the dressing

2tbsp good-quality red wine vinegar
tbsp caster sugar
3tbsp corn or vegetable oil
3tbsp olive oil

Preheat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7. Cut the rhubarb into 3cm lengths, then into half-centimetre batons. Bring a pan of water to the boil and blanch the rhubarb for 30 seconds then drain, pat dry with some kitchen paper and place in a bowl.

Dissolve the sugar in the red wine vinegar, whisk in the oils and season, then pour over the rhubarb and leave for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, season the wild duck and rub with the softened butter.

Place in a small roasting tray and roast for 30 minutes, keeping it nice and pink. Remove from the oven and leave to rest. Remove the legs from the carcass, remove the meat from the bone and shred it up.

Remove the breasts from the carcass, then go around the carcass removing any other bits of meat and shred it up and mix with the leg meat.

To serve, cut the breasts into 6 slices, toss the leaves with the shredded meat, the rhubarb and the dressing, season and arrange on plates with the slices of breast scattered over.

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