from the Backyard .... to the Table

Keeping ducks, chooks and guineas offers so much more than something pretty to look at.   Eggs, feathers and meat can all be put to good use by the backyarder or hobbyist, and makes a use of those excess males. Duck eggs, while slightly stronger in texture and taste are purportedly superior in baking, especially with sponges.  We find them comparible with chook eggs when scrambled, in an omelette or on toast.  Even the by-products of cooking (duck fat) can be put to use, in cooking and home products such as soap.

Following are a couple of favourite recipes at home here.   Gluten Free recipes are marked as (GF).         Wherever possible, organic products are utilised.

Crispy-skinned Roast Duck (GF)

 Here's the basic recipe to roast a duck. Roast it as follows for 4 hours at 300 degrees (F). After 4 hours, glaze and blast it at a high heat for a short time.


1 whole duck (5-6 lb or there abouts)
         Sweet & spicy glaze:
1/4 cup honey,1/4 cup molasses, 3 tbs orange juice, 1 tbs soy sauce,1 1/2 tbs chili sauce (adjust to taste). Combine all ingredients and bring to a simmer. Whisk over med-high heat for a few minutes, until consistency is thick and syrupy.

Rinse duck under cold water. Pat it dry with paper towels. If possible, leave duck uncovered in refrigerator to dry the skin out. Score the skin on the breast with a criss-cross pattern (up to 6 slices each way). Be careful, you want to cut through the fat without cutting into the meat. A duck's layer of fat is reasonably thick. Set duck in a deep-ish roasting pan and sprinkle the cavity with a little salt.
Score the skin, cut off excess fat, and poke it all over. Just poke the skin - the more fat that escapes, the crispier the skin will be.    Salt and truss.
Roast at 300 degrees for 1 hour, breast side up.
Poke with the tip of a sharp knife, flip, roast for 1 hour, breast side down. Be sure to poke around the legs, which are quite fatty regions
Repeat the previous 2 steps. While the duck is cooking during the 4th hour, make the glaze.
Poke, flip, blast at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes, breast side up. If you're saving the duck fat, carefully remove this from the pan before adding glaze.
Brush with glaze. Finish at 400 degrees for 5-7 minutes until the duck is a beautiful mahogany colour.
Rest for approx 10 mins, carve and serve.
If you're a meat thermometer kind of person, you want the duck to register 165 degrees F.

As for the duck fat - Duck fat keeps for months in the fridge. Use it in much the same way as you would rendered bacon fat. It is a glorious companion to potatoes. Add duck fat to mashed potatoes instead of butter. Rub a whole chicken's skin with it before roasting - it'll add a good, deep flavour to your bird. Slather it on root veggies and roast with garlic, salt and pepper.

Warm beetroot and lime salad (a great bed for an egg!) (GF)

Great for kickstarting the morning - or at any time really!  

Finely dice the following : 1/2 large brown onion, 1/2 zucchini, 1/2 parsnip and 1/2 raw beetroot.   Fry the onion in macadamia oil until browning, then add zucchini, parsnip and beetroot, stirring to combine.  Add a handful of chopped walnuts and 2-3 squeezes of lime juice  (or juice of half a fresh lime) to flavour.  Stir regularly, frying until mix softens.

This warm and tangy salad marries well with fried eggs, cooked with a dash of cumin and garnished with a sprig of mint.

Sticky Fig Pudding with Caramel Sauce

This pudding has been a family favourite for over 2 decades now (how time flies).  

The fig provides that something a little different, although this works just as well with date or date and cranberry.


170 g figs - chopped and washed
1tsp Bi-carb soda
300mls boiling water
60g butter
170g caster sugar
2 eggs
170g SR flour
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Caramel Sauce:
400g brown sugar, 1 cup cream, 250g butter
Bring all ingredients to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.


Method: Preheat the oven to 180'C (350F). Grease a cake tin with a little butter.  Place chopped figs and bi-carb soda in a bowl and cover with the boiling water. Allow to stand.    Cream the butter and sugar, then add (one at a time) the eggs. Beat well.   Gently fold the flour into the creamed butter mix.  Next stir in the figs and the water mix and vanilla essence. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tin.
Bake for approximately 30-40 minutes in the middle of your oven. Test with skewer.
Remove the pudding from the oven and pour over a little sauce, return to the oven for 2-3 minutes to allow the sauce to soak into the pudding.
Serve with caramel sauce and a dollop of double cream, or icecream.

* for an alternative to fig, use date or date and cranberry.
** Pudding in this picture is made with gluten free SR Flour.

Salted Caramel Shake (GF)

This tastes so good you wouldn't even know it's a 'health drink'!!  Sweet and salty - delicious.

1/2 cup unsweeted coconut milk, 1 egg, 2 pitted dates (choose soft, juicy ones such as medjool), 1/2 banana, pinch of sea salt, 1 tsp maple syrup or rice malt syrup, 3-4 icecubes, 1 tsp chia seeds. 

To make:  chuck all ingredients bar chia seeds in the blender and blend until smooth and creamy. serve sprinkled with chia seeds.

Pancakes - x 2

This recipe (number 1, pictured left) incorporates beaten eggwhites into the batter, making them extra light and fluffy. As the yolk and butter is also used, they are still rich and tender.

RECIPE NUMBER ONE - light and fluffy.

Ingredients: 1 cup sifted plain flour, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/2 tbs baking poweder, 2 egg yolks, 3/4 cup milk - more or less, 4 tbs melted butter, 2 egg whites, 1 tbs sugar.


Sift the dry ingredients together, and in a 2nd bowl, mix egg yolks, most of the milk and the melted butter together until smooth. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients all at once. Stir until just combined - over mixing will make for a tougher pancake.

Beat the egg whites until they are light and fluffy, with soft peaks forming, such as for meringues. Add the sugar towards the end of the beating. Fold this egg mixture gently into the batter with a spatula, adding additional milk as required to get the correct consistency. Cook as you would other pancakes, serve with your topping of choice - we recommend sugar and lemon, maple syrup and real butter (above) or with banana and chopped macadamias, or berries with cream or icecream.

RECIPE NUMBER TWO - Traditional Flett family favourite.

Much simpler and quicker to make, but just as good! These have been a firm favourite since childhood.

Ingredients: 2.5 cups SR flour, 1 egg, pinch salt, milk to get to desired consistency. Sifted flour makes a lighter pancake. Mix all ingredients together. Heat frypan to high, melting a dollop of butter. Flip once forming bubbles have burst and set.  Serve as above.

bacon & eggs koljash style (GF)

If you're tired of typical bacon and eggs, give this a go!  Full of flavour, it's a favourite here!  Equates to one good serving.

macadamia oil for frying

1 medium brown onion, finely diced

good sprinkle of garlic granules

couple rashers bacon, roughly diced (I favour shortcut)

2 eggs (your choice - duck, or chook ...  if guinea fowl use 3-4 eggs)

squeeze of chives paste

squeeze of lemongrass or ginger paste

sprinkle of tarragon

good handful of spinach or rocket

grape tomatoes on the side

Heat the macadamia oil and fry onion and garlic until brown.  Add bacon, once this is starting to brown,  add eggs, chives and lemongrass paste, stirring constantly until egg has set. Set on the bed of greens, sprinkle with  tarragon and top with grape or cherry tomatoes.

Chewy rosemary bread sticks (GF)

 this recipe is courtesy of Against All Grain - Danielle Walker (p. 240)

 Makes approx. 20 6"sticks. These are deliciously soft and chewy - if you like a crispier stick, leave uncovered for a day.  Edible by themselves or go beautifully with a pear and mango chutney or tomato chutney (pictured).

 1  1/4 cups blanched almond flour or almond meal                           

1 egg

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil or macadamia oil

1 tsp honey or rice malt syrup

1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

1/4 tsp sea salt                            hint:  brush with duck fat and sprinkle with garlic salt before baking, if you like an

1/4 tsp garlic salt                                  even deeper flavoured breadstick.  Depending on taste, omit garlic salt from 

1/4 tsp bicarb soda.                              other ingredients.

Preaheat oven to 350F.  Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and blend on medium speed until a ball of dough forms.  Take a small handful of dough and roll into balls - an average of 20 depending on size.  Roll each ball out into a pencil shape with fingertips, til it is about 6"long. Do not roll too thinly or it will break, even when cooked - if it begins to crack, gently repair.  Place the breadsticks on a baking tray line with baking paper, spacing evenly. Bake for 12 minutes, turning over halfway through.

Duck Egg Mayonnaise (GF)

MAYONNAISE - Recommended to be used within 7 days of making (refrigerated).

note::duck eggs contain more protein and fat than chook eggs, and therefore can manage  less oil in the 'emulsion'.

4 duck egg yolks,

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp onion salt

3/4 cup light olive or macadamia oil.

Place egg yolks, lemon juice and onion salt in a small bowl and blend with a stick mixer on medium speed for 1 minute.  This breaks up the proteins.  Dribble the oil very slowly - drip by drip - while continuing to blend until the mixture lightens and thickens slightly.  Increase adding the oil to a very thin stream until completely added, blending all the time.   Note:  the mix will be thick and smooth.  Adding more oil to thin may cause the emulsion to break.

This mayonnaise is great on salads, or plain raw vegetables!

Hot Cross Buns

MMMMM  ...... Sugar and spice and all things nice - these are the shiny glazed traditional buns of Easter.   Your entire house will be filled with the amazing aroma of these delicious buns as they bake.


for buns:  4 cups plain flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 tbsp yeast, 1.5 cups milk, 2 cups sultana/currant mix, 2 tsp bread improver, 70g butter, 0.25 cup sugar, 1 egg, 0.25 tsp nutmeg, 0.25 tsp cardamon, 0.5 tsp mixed spice, 1 tsp cinnamon.

for crosses:  3 tbsp flour, 3 tsp sugar, enough water to make a manageable paste to pipe though a small hole. 

You don't want it too runny, but also not so thick it bursts the bag and doesn't pipe.  For a piping bag, I use a sandwich bag and snip the very corner off.

bun glaze: 4 tbs sugar, 0.5 tsp cinnamon, 0.5 tsp mixed spice, 0.5 cup water. Boil together for a few minutes while the buns are baking.

Method:  1.  Heat the milk until lukewarm, stir in 1 tsp of both the sugar and the flour.  Sprinkle with yeast, stir lightly.  Cover, stand in a warm place for approx. 15 -20 minutes.

2.  Sift flour, bread improver, salt, sugar and spices, rub in butter.  Add beaten egg, sultana mix and yeast mixture, combining thoroughly so as a good dough is formed.

3.  Place dough in a plastic bag, stand in a warm place for 40 minutes or until dough doubles in size.

4.   Punch dough down, turn out onto a floured surface. Knead well until dough is smooth and elastic.

5.  Cut dough into 3 equal pieces, and cut those pieces into 5, making 15 buns in all.  Knead each piece into a round shape.

6.  Put buns into lightly greased 18 cm x 28 cm lamington tin, then stand this in a warm place for 10 to 15 minutes.    The buns will grow considerably in size. Once time has elapsed, pipe crosses onto the buns.

7.  Bake at 200C (400F) for 15 - 20 minutes.  They will be golden brown on top and sound hollow when tapped.   Remove from the oven and brush with glaze.

8.  Cool on a wire rack.

Paleo chocolate doughnuts, with white choc and cacao nib icing (GF)

Now, who said a doughnut couldn't be healthy?   Try to source dairy-free white choc, if you can.

Recipe will be coming shortly.  I need to adjust the quantities and/or baking time slightly.  Even just a little bit too much coconut flour can result in a drier product. 

COMING SOON!!  The following items will be added shortly - keep an eye out for the recipe!

Duckling Maryland, with blueberry and balsamic glaze, garlic potato mash and parsnip chips.

Quince-syrup Dumplings

Apple Crumble Cake

Poached chicken breast with a green peppercorn sauce