Zesty Roast Duck
By far, duck is one of the richest birds you’ll ever try. A slow roast and then a quick broil will give you delicious, moist meat and scrumptious crispy skin.
If you’ve never cooked duck before, there are a few things you need to do differently than you would a chicken or turkey. Since duck is all dark meat and it has a very thick layer of fat under the skin, it needs a little TLC.
Many recipes out there will tell you to score the skin over the meat, which would be necessary if you were just cooking legs or breasts that were already cut up because you’ll be cooking them faster.
I feel like that isn’t necessary when you’re roasting a whole bird. I wanted to lock all the juices in and keep everything moist. The roasting time is a bit long and scoring the skin would render the fat out but it may dry the meat inside at the same time.
To prepare the duck for roasting, simply give it a quick rinse under some cold water. Rinse the cavity out as well and dry the whole thing with paper towels, inside and out.
For aromatics and a wonderful zesty sauce, fill the cavity with some orange, lime, onion, jalapeno, garlic, celery and lemon grass. Secure everything with toothpicks or skewers.
Be careful not to over fill the cavity because it will cause uneven cooking. Just put enough of the aromatics in to fill the bird loosely. The rest of the aromatics can go into the roasting pan with some water and the juices from the bird as it’s cooking.
Rub a little oil on the outside of the duck and season with salt and pepper. Place the bird on a cooking rack, breast side down to elevate it above the aromatics and give the leg and thigh meat more cooking time.
Half way through the cooking time, turn the bird over so that the breast side is up.
I had a six pound bird and the total roasting time was 2 hours.
To crisp the skin up at the end, take the bird out of the roasting pan along with the cooking rack. Place the whole thing on a foil lined baking sheet and move your oven rack to a higher position. Broil the bird on high about 3 to 4 inches from the heating element. 4 to 5 minutes will do. You want the skin to be golden brown and the broiler will make that happen fast.
Cover the bird lightly with foil and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes before carving. Otherwise, you’ll lose precious juices.
While you’re waiting for the bird to rest, use the liquid and aromatics from the pan to make a sauce. Place them in a pan over med/hi heat and boil until reduced by a third. This only takes 10 minutes or so.
Strain the liquid and return to the pan. Add a few seasonings (included in the recipe print out below) to spruce it up and thicken it with a corn starch and water slurry.
Finally, carve the duck and serve with the sauce. Be sure to save the carcass because that will make a beautiful stock and give you some extra duck fat to use for other recipes. Duck fat is like gold in the cooking world!
This was our third time having this recipe. My crew loves the flavor and texture of the duck meat and skin. The sauce is absolutely delightful, too!
I’m always on the lookout for duck because it is more expensive than chicken or turkey. It’s a real treat when we do have it and I’m pretty sure you’ll think so once you have a taste.
Give it a try and let us know how it turns out. We’d love to hear from you!
Have a beautiful day and as always, keep it delicious!
Till next time ~ much love, Connie
Zesty Roast Duck
- 1 5-6 lb whole duck
- 1 lg orange
- 1 lime
- 1 lg onion
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 lemon grass stalk
- 2 jalapenos seeded
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 C fresh cold water
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp hot chili sauce
- 2 tbsp cold water
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Remove the neck, heart, liver from the duck.
- Cut the orange, lime, onion, celery, ginger, garlic, lemon grass and jalapenos into large chunks.
- Rinse the duck inside and out with fresh water.
- Pat the inside and outside of the duck dry with paper towels.
- Stuff the cavity with some of each of the chopped aromatics.
- Secure the cavity with tooth picks or skewers.
- Rub the olive oil all over the outside of the duck and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Place the duck on a wire rack, breast side down into a large roasting pan and cover with lid.
- (be sure your wire rack is raised so that the duck won't be sitting in liquid)
- Toss the rest of the aromatics into the bottom of the roasting pan and pour the 2 cups of fresh water in.
- Roast for 1 hour.
- Carefully turn the duck over so that it is breast side up.
- Return to oven and roast, covered one hour more or until the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees F.
- Remove from oven and place the duck on a foil lined baking sheet, breast side up.
- Turn the oven to broil on high.
- Place the duck 3-4 inches under the broiler for 4-5 minutes to crisp the skin.
- Remove from oven and tent with foil lightly.
- Remove the aromatics and 1 cup of liquid from the roasting pan and place in a medium pot.
- Place over med/hi heat and allow to come to a boil.
- Simmer until the sauce reduces by 1/3. (about 10 minutes)
- Strain the sauce and discard all the solids.
- Return to pan over med/hi heat.
- Add 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp brown sugar and 1 tsp hot chili sauce.
- Bring the liquid to a boil again.
- Combine 2 tbsp cold water and 2 tbsp corn starch in a small cup.
- Stir into the strained liquid.
- Cook another minute or two to thicken.
- Slice the duck into portions and serve with the sauce.