Salmagundi has been a popular cold dish for centuries, often incorporating other cold meats, fish and a variety of vegetables. This recipe can be made using chicken only and leaving out the duck. Select firm-textured vegetables and arrange the ingredients in ever-widening circles to create an attractive effect.


serves 8
1 oven-ready duckling, weighing about 2.3 kg (5 lb), thawed if frozen
salt and pepper
1 oven-ready chicken, weighing about 2 kg (4 1/2 lb), thawed if frozen
450 g (1 lb) carrots, cut into 0.5 cm (1/2 inch) wide strips
450 g (1 lb) potatoes, peeled
150 ml (1/4 pint) vegetable oil
75 ml (5 tbsp) lemon juice
pinch of mustard powder
pinch of sugar
450 g (1 lb) shelled peas, cooked
1 cucumber, sliced
225 g (8 oz) tomatoes, thinly sliced
4 celery sticks, thinly sliced
4 eggs, hard-boiled (optional)
mayonnaise (optional)
slices of stuffed olives and radishes, to garnish


1. Weigh the duckling, prick the skin all over with a skewer or sharp fork and sprinkle with salt. Place breast-side down on a rack or trivet in a roasting tin. Roast in the top of the oven at 200°C (400°F) mark 6, basting occasionally, for 20 minutes per 450 g (1 lb).

2. Weigh the chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in a shallow roasting tin and roast below the duck on the lowest shelf of the oven for 20 minutes per 450 g (1 lb) plus 20 minutes. Cool both for 1 - 2 hours or until cool enough to handle.

3. Using a sharp knife, make a slit along each side of the breastbone of both the chicken and duck. Remove and discard the skin.

4. Carefully remove all the flesh from the carcasses of both birds. Discard the carcasses and cut the flesh of the birds into thin strips, about 5 cm (2 inches) long.

5. Cook the carrots in boiling salted water for 8 minutes or until just tender. Drain and rinse in cold water. Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 15 minutes until tender. Drain and leave to cool, then dice finely.

6. Make the dressing by whisking the oil, lemon juice, mustard and sugar together with salt and pepper to taste.

7. Choose a large oval platter for making up the salmagundi. Place the potato and peas in the bottom of the dish to give a flat base. Arrange the carrot strips or a layer of cucumber on top, following the oval shape of the platter.

8. Pour over a little dressing. Next, arrange a layer of cucumber or carrot, slightly inside the first layer so that it may be easily seen.

9. Top with more layers of chicken meat, peas, tomato slices, celery and duck meat. Make each layer smaller than the previous one so that the lower layers can all be seen. Sprinkle each one with dressing. Continue layering until all the ingredients are used.

10. If using the eggs, shell and halve them, then top each half with a little mayonnaise, if used. Garnish with a few radish slices and stuffed olives, arranged round the edge of the dish.

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