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Feasters were out for a duck

Bucks Herald 1980

A saucy secret is disclosed

The hitherto secret recipe for a new Aylesbury sauce was revealed at the annual Aylesbury Duck Dinner held in the Civic Centre last week.

The dinner is organised by members of The Aylesbury Club, whose president, Mr. Christopher Clarke felt that Aylesbury duck   should   be enhanced with a special Aylesbury sauce.


He chose the best of three recipes created by the manager of the Civic Centre Catering Services Mr. K. Cook.

Called   Aylesbury Plum and Brandy sauce it was served for the first time to the 101 members and guests at the dinner.

Ingredients are: 1 pint demy glaze

(thick gravy sauce), ½ lb red plums, 1oz plum preserve, 1oz Demerara sugar, 2 tablespoons Lemon juice,  ½ gill brandy, 1oz butter.


Skin and stone plums. Melt butter in pan. Add plums and cook gently until soft, Add lemon juice and simmer slowly for 5 minutes. Place contents of pan in liquidiser. And make purée.

Put the plum preserve, sugar and  brandy in pan'and gently simmer for 5 minutes. Add plum puree and demi glaze. Simmer for a further 20 minutes. Season to taste.

The new sauce was served after the duck had been traditionally danced in by the Whitchurch Morris Dancers. It was 'announced a great Success by the two guest speakers, Mr George Cliff, who proposed "The Aylesbury Duck and Cllr. James Ireland, chairman of Bucks County Council, who made the response.

Members of the Aylesbury Club and their guests went out for a duck on Wednesday night – and it was bottoms up all round.

The occasion was the club’s annual duck dinner, held at the Civic Centre for 101 members and guests all eager to enjoy “good food in good company “ as the club’s motto says.

And the main toast, as always was to the “Aylesbury Duck” given this year by toastmaster George Eliff. The evening was a happy, but probably painful one for the club’s president, Mr Chris Clarke, firmly held in place by a steel corset after slipping a disc the day before.

But he still managed once again to welcome the Whitchurch Morris Men, who danced-in a roast duck on a silver platter and then presented it to Mr Clarke to taste before dancing it back to the kitchens.

After pate maison with toast for starters, the guests tucked into the main feast of the evening, roast duckling with the new special Aylesbury brandy and plum sauce, recently concocted by the Civic’s catering manager, Keith Cook.

As Mr Clarke explained after dinner the sauce was chose as the best of three produced by Mr Cook, all containing the plums Aylesbury is also famous for.

In his toast to the duck, Mr Cliff recalled that Aylesbury ducks average 12 to 15 pounds in weight, but a good one weighed 18 pounds. He also referred to the late Mr “Duckie” Weston, who professed to be able to kill, pluck and dress a bird in three minutes flat.

The response was given by Mr James Ireland, chairman of the county council, who promised not to talk about rates or anything like that, and promptly reeled off joke after joke based loosely on ducks.