Mariëtte Coetzee of Coco Bella (, a Cape patisserie, tends to over cater when she entertains. But it’s just as well because with such delicious fare on offer who could resist a second helping?



  • 6 potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 whole free-range duck
  • 1 orange, halved
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 8 thyme sprigs
  • 8 sage sprigs
  • 250g mixed mushrooms, left whole
  • 250–300g vine-ripened tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • 10ml fresh thyme leaves, chopped


1. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
2. Place the potatoes in the bottom of a roasting tray and season with salt and pepper.
3. Place the duck on a rack above the potatoes (so the fat can drain down freely). Stuff the orange, garlic and half the herb sprigs inside the cavity of the duck. Gently pat the skin dry with kitchen paper and rub it all over with the sea salt and black pepper. Scatter the remaining herbs over the duck and potatoes. Ensure the vent end of the duck is open to allow even cooking.
4. Roast the duck for about 1 hour per kg (about 2½ hours for a large duck) until golden brown.
5. While the duck is cooking, place the mushrooms and tomatoes into two pans. Drizzle with olive oil and season with black pepper and salt. Sprinkle the chopped thyme over the tomatoes.
6. Reduce the oven to 180°C 10 minutes before the duck is ready, and place the vegetables into the oven for 20 minutes. Turn the mushrooms and tomatoes twice during cooking. Removing the duck 10 minutes after the vegetables are added allows for it to rest for 20 minutes and everything will be ready at the same time.
7. Place the duck and roast potatoes on a platter and serve with the mushrooms and vine-ripened tomatoes

This recipe serves 4.