Neil Perry's duck, olive and date tagine

Neil Perry
Neil Perry's duck tagine is on high rotation during winter.
Neil Perry's duck tagine is on high rotation during winter.  Photo: William Meppem

This is my favourite tagine and I make it several times every winter. As with all Middle Eastern slow-cooked stews, it is full of flavour and easy to put together.


6 duck marylands

250ml chermoula (see below)

1 red onion, cut into 6 wedges

2 carrots, peeled and thickly sliced

1 orange sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks

400g green beans, trimmed

40g blanched almonds sea salt

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp honey

juice of 1 lemon

8 fresh dates, pitted

1 small handful large green olives, pitted

¼ preserved lemon, pith removed and rind finely chopped

1 large handful coriander leaves, chopped

1 large handful flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

For the chermoula

1 red onion, roughly chopped

4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

½ bunch flat-leaf parsley, including stems, roughly chopped

½ bunch coriander, including stems, roughly chopped

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tbsp ground turmeric

1 tbsp chilli powder, or to taste

2 tbsp sweet paprika

1 tsp sea salt

150ml extra virgin olive oil

juice of 1 lemon


1. For the chermoula, place all ingredients in a blender and pulse until a thick paste is formed. Makes about 500 millilitres.

2. Cut the duck legs in half where the thigh meets the drumstick. In a bowl, combine the duck pieces with the chermoula, onion, carrots, sweet potato, beans, almonds and a pinch of sea salt. Marinate for about one hour.

3. Heat the olive oil in a tagine (a conical earthenware cooking vessel) or a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Add the duck, vegetables and any marinade to the pan and arrange the duck and vegetables so they are in a reasonably flat layer. Pour in enough water to half-cover the duck, add the honey and lemon juice and cover with the lid. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a very gentle simmer.

4. After about 30 minutes, remove the lid and carefully turn the duck and vegetables over. Add the dates and olives, cover and cook for a further 30 minutes, until the duck and vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat.

5. You can serve the duck in the tagine or pan you cooked it in, or spoon it onto a large platter or divide it among individual plates (there are three duck pieces per person). Just before serving, sprinkle with the preserved lemon rind, coriander and parsley. Serve with steamed rice (if gluten-free), cous cous, or a short pasta such as orzo.

Find more of Neil Perry's recipes in the Good Food Favourite Recipes cookbook.

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