½ cup(loosely packed) thyme sprigs2 tbspsea salt 12juniper berries1large duck (about 2.2kg)4peaches, scored60 ml (¼ cup)olive oil, plus extra for drizzlingFor drizzling:balsamic vinegarFarro salad250 gmpumpkin, cut into 1cm dice1 tbspolive oil70 gm (½ cup)hazelnuts250 gmfarro1 cup(firmly packed) basil leaves, coarsely torn½ Spanish onion, thinly sliced1 tbspred wine vinegar100 mlextra-virgin olive oil
Pound thyme, salt, juniper berries and coarsely ground black pepper to taste in a mortar and pestle to a coarse paste, then rub over duck, coating inside and out. Place in a non-reactive container and refrigerate until lightly cured (24 hours).
Brush salt mixture from duck, place duck in a steamer basket and steam over a saucepan of simmering water until cooked medium (1½-2 hours). Cool, then place duck on a board, breast-side up. Cut along each side of breastbone and cut breast and leg off each side of carcass, cutting through wing joint and keeping each half in one piece, so each is a joined breast and bone-in thigh. Wrap each half in plastic wrap, place on a tray, press flat with a light weight and refrigerate to compress (overnight).
For farro salad, preheat oven to 175C. Combine pumpkin and olive oil in a roasting pan, season and roast until golden and tender (20 minutes). Spread hazelnuts in a baking dish and roast until golden (8-10 minutes). Rub in a tea towel to remove skins, then lightly crush with a mortar and pestle. Cook farro in boiling salted water until tender (15-20 minutes), drain and set aside in a bowl to cool. Add pumpkin, hazelnuts and remaining ingredients, toss to combine and season to taste.
Roast peaches on an oven tray until tender (30 minutes), peel, halve, remove stones and keep warm.
Increase oven to 220C. Heat olive oil in a large cast-iron pan over medium heat until smoking hot. Place duck skin-side down in pan and weight with another heavy cast-iron pan. Transfer to oven and roast duck until golden and crisp (10 minutes).
Serve duck with roast peaches and farro salad, season to taste, and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
This recipe is from the March 2013 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
“I love the combination of seasonal fruit and rich duck,” says Neil Perry. “There are many similar examples in Italian cooking.” At Rosetta the duck is cooked in a woodfired oven, but you can use a hot conventional oven. You’ll need to begin this recipe two days ahead to salt the duck.