DIY crispy duck lettuce cups with cherries & mint

The cherries and mint make a lovely fresh sauce. Serve everything on a big platter in the middle of the table so everyone can build their own little lettuce cup parcels full of duck, herbs and cherries. There are loads of colours and textures here, and if you can get hold of some beautiful purple shiso cress, all the better. It has a kind of curry flavour and looks amazing.

Nutritional Information (amount per serving)


Serves 8   Approx time: 160   Difficulty: super easy


  • 1 duck, about 2kg
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 300 g fresh cherries
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 soft round lettuce or little gems
  • 1 small bunch spring onions
  • ½ cucumber
  • 2 red chillies
  • 1 small bunch mint
  • 2 punnets salad cress
  • 1 punnet shiso cress


Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Wash the duck and wipe it dry, inside and out, with kitchen paper. Season well with salt and pepper, both inside and out. Place the duck on a roasting tray, and roast it in the oven for 2 hours.

While the duck is in the oven make the cherry sauce. Pit all the cherries. Put half to one side and place the other half in a food processor with a good pinch of salt and pepper, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Once the duck is cooked, allow it to cool slightly before removing the skin to a clean baking tray. Pick and finely chop the rosemary leaves and sprinkle all over the skin with the cinnamon and cloves. Place the skin back into the hot oven for about 10 minutes to crisp up nicely.

Next, get yourself a lovely big serving board. Carefully break the lettuces into individual leaves and give them a good wash. Shred the spring onions. Cut the cucumber in half lengthways and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds before chopping it into little sticks. Halve and deseed the chillies, then finely slice them. Pick the mint leaves and snip the cress.

Shred the duck with your hands or a couple of forks, and pile the meat in the middle of your board. Place everything else around the serving board in individual piles. Put your sauce into a serving bowl and pop it onto the board next to a pile of pitted cherries. Finish by roughly slicing up the crispy skin and scattering it over the board before serving.

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