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Roasted Duck with Ancho and Morello Cherry Mole



Inspired by Delia Smith's great roasted duck recipe with a morello cherry and red wine sauce, we have added a Mexican twist to this classic by adding ancho chilli which mirrors the tobacco flavours of the morello cherry and adds a gentle heat.


Preparing and Cooking the Duck

  1. The day before remove the wrapping and put the duck on a rack in a suitable size roasting tin that preferably can be put on the hob after roasting. 
  2. Cover the duck loosely with parchment paper and place in the fridge overnight. This allows the skin to dry out and makes for crisp skin.
  3. One hour before roasting the duck, remove from the refrigerator to bring back to room temperature. 
  4. In the fatty areas of the duck, poke with a skewer, this helps the fat to render out and season with plenty of salt and pepper. 
  5. After 30 minutes turn on the oven to 220oC (200oC Fan)
  6. When the oven is hot place the duck breast side up with the legs facing the back. 
  7. Cook for 30 minutes, then turn the oven down to 180oC (160oC Fan) and cook for a further 1 hour 20 minutes or as directed on your packet (all ducks are different sizes and will require different lengths of cooking time). 

Making the Mole 

  1. While the duck is roasting, heat a cast iron frying pan over medium heat, place the two cloves of garlic in their skins to roast, turning occasionally until soft in the middle, beside them you can toast the chillies.
  2.  Press the chilli flesh side down on the hot surface with a spatula until there is a wisp of smoke and the colour changes to a tan colour, ensure that the whole surface of the chilli is toasted, flip and press again until the chilli blisters on the skin side, then place in a bowl that is filled with hot tap water and let soak for 20 minutes or until soft.
  3. Remove the garlic from the pan and allow to cool before removing the skins. In a blender add the drained chillies and the garlic with ¼ cup of fresh water, blend until smooth, if necessary, add a tablespoon or two of water to help pass through the blades.
  4. Scrape into a bowl and reserve.
  5. When the duck is done, remove from the oven and let the duck rest on a carving board loosely covered. 
  6. Drain away most of the fat from the tin into a bowl to save for potatoes or tamales. Place the tin over medium heat, add the ground black pepper and the chilli and garlic puree, fry in the tin until thick and dark stirring constantly. 
  7. Add the red wine scraping up the tasty bits and pieces from the bottom, add the star anise, let simmer and reduce by a 3rd. Then add the morello cherry jam. 
  8. Stir well and let simmer a couple more minutes to amalgamate flavours. 
  9. Check for seasoning, adding salt and more of the jam as needed, to make the sauce sing. 
  10. Carve the duck by removing the legs and the two breasts, shred the meat off the legs and slice the breast, divide the breast and leg meat between 4 plates and cover each portion with 1/3 cup of sauce.
  11. Serve with rice and a zippy green salad.