Spice, stone fruit, oranges and roasted duck – it's a classic combination that never fails to impress. This one's made for the Christmas main event.
- 12 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 oranges
- 40 gm (⅓ cup) sea salt flakes
- 1 bunch lemon thyme
- 1 duck (about 2.3kg)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 12 banana shallots, halved
- 4 yellow peaches, halved, pitted
- 1For spiced salt, dry-roast 4 star anise and the cinnamon stick in a small frying pan until toasted and fragrant (20-30 seconds). Grind finely in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle. Finely grate the rind from 1 orange then juice. Combine spice mix, orange rind and salt in a bowl and stir to combine. Add 2 tsp finely chopped lemon thyme.
- 2Preheat oven to 180°C. Pat duck dry inside and out with paper towels. Use a sharp, fine skewer to prick duck skin all over. Drizzle duck with half the oil and season skin and cavity with some of the spiced orange salt and ground black pepper to taste. Halve remaining orange and add to cavity then seal with a toothpick. Place duck on a wire rack in a roasting pan and roast until skin is golden (1 hour). Carefully pour off excess fat from pan.
- 3Reduce oven to 150°C. Roast duck, adding shallots to pan in the last 30 minutes, until flesh is tender when pierced with a knife and shallots are tender (1½ hours).
- 4Transfer duck and shallots to a tray, reserving baking pan, cover and set aside to rest. Increase oven to 200°C. Add peaches to reserved pan and drizzle with remaining oil. Season with some of the spiced salt and top with remaining star anise and lemon thyme sprigs. Roast peaches until just tender (20 minutes).
- 5Transfer peaches to tray with duck. Pour off excess fat from pan. Add orange juice to pan, bring to the boil, stirring, over medium heat until a light jus is formed (5 minutes). Serve duck with peaches and shallots, drizzled with orange jus and remaining spiced salt.