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Lady Llanover's Salt Duck

A delicious method of serving duck cold, as a charcuterie item, when it should be served as wafer-thin slices like ham.

The recipe was based on old Welsh methods, and incorporated into Lady Llanover's book 'The First Principles of Good Cookery', published in 1867.

It was later revived by Franco Taruschio (with some help from Elizabeth David), at his excellent restaurant The Walnut Tree near Abergavenny.


For 1 Duck:

- 1 Aylesbury-type duck, with the legs removed for another use, (perhaps confit), but the breasts left on the carcass.

- Weigh the carcass, with its breasts, and measure out 30g of coarse sea salt for each 350g of duck - so 1.4 kilos of duck will need 120g of salt.


1. Rub the meat and carcass all over with the sea salt.
2. Place the duck, breast-side-down in a stainless steel, plastic or glass container, and keep in the fridge, or a cold larder.
3. After 36 hours, turn the carcass over - so the breasts face upwards, and replace in the fridge.
4. After this time - three days in all - rinse off the salt, and place the duck in a container deep enough to cover it with water, but also to fit into your oven.
5. Cover the duck with cold water, and place it in an oven previously-heated to 160ºC/300ºF/Gas 2 and cook, uncovered for 1½ hours.
6. Remove the duck from the liquid and leave to cool.

Remove the breasts from the carcass, and serve them thinly sliced, perhaps with a mild pickle, or 'Sweet and Sour Prunes'. See Sweet and Sour Prunes.

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