Monday, January 24, 2011

Four-Hour Roast Duck

I love roast duck, but I don't make it often. Duck has quite a bit of fat, and to render the fat to get a crisp skin takes a while. And when you search the Internet for recipes, many involve steaming or boiling the duck, which just seems excessive. This recipe takes a while but the steps in-between are quick and easy and really require very little work.

I like to start with a whole duck. I usually buy them on sale and freeze them for later.

Pull everything from inside the duck and keep or discard whatever you might want to keep. I kept the neck, but the liver would be nice sauteed in some duck fat (something you'll get plenty of after roasting!) and served on toast.

Rinse both the inside and outside of the duck in the sink and place breast-side-up in a roasting pan.

You'll want to use a rack that elevates the duck off the bottom of the pan, or the duck will end up in a pool of its own fat. If you don't have a rack, a good trick I learned is to toss a bunch of forks on the bottom of your pan. That should keep the duck up high enough.

Use paper towels to blot the entire duck (including the insides) dry.

Use kitchen shears or scissors to cut off any excess skin or fat (there should be a ton of extra skin by the neck.) I saved the skin to roast with potatoes sometime in the future.

Tuck the wings underneath the duck. This will keep the tips from burning.

Using a sharp knife, score the skin of the duck. You only want to score the skin, not the meat. This will help the fat render out and make the skin crispy.

Truss the legs (I also tied the tail up.) This helps the meat cook more evenly. It also will pull the skin around the legs a little tighter, which will make rendering the fat easier.

Give the inside and outside of the duck a good salting. Again, the salt will help draw out the fat, as well as season the meat.

Now place in a preheated 300F oven.

After an hour of roasting, use a sharp knife and gently poke the duck all over. Again, just poke the skin, not the meat.

The little holes will provide a way for the fat to escape the skin. Pay particular attention to the fattier parts of the duck, such as by the legs or the neck hole.

Carefully flip the duck over so the breast side is now facing down. Poke the other side of the duck, and stick it back in the oven.

After an hour, repeat the poke-flip-poke process.

After another hour, poke-flip-poke again. At this point, your duck has been in the oven for 3 hours.

If you want to save the fat for Duck Fat Roasted Potatoes, now would be the time to do it. I took the rack out of the pan and then poured the fat from the pan into a measuring cup. Your fat can be frozen for future use.
Now for your glaze. There's a restaurant we like to go to that serves half a duck. They send it out with a little cup of a spicy honey sauce. I love the combination of sweet and spicy with the rich fattiness of the duck.

So, since this is a honey-based glaze, it starts with honey.

Add some red pepper flakes. If you don't have any pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, sriracha sauce, or hot sauce would work fine too.

Pour in a bit of soy sauce. It will cut the sweetness of the honey and add a depth of flavor.

And salt and pepper, to taste.

Heat the glaze gently on the stove until the honey is warmed and easy to manage. Generously brush the glaze over the duck.

Turn your oven to 400F. Let your duck roast at that temperature for about 10 minutes. I added more glaze after 5 minutes, and then again right before the end.

Let the duck rest before serving! If you have any glaze left, drizzle it over the top.

Although this recipe requires a bit of advance planning, it's an easy meal to make on the weekend or on a day off. Serve with wild rice or roasted potatoes with a bright green vegetable. Turn duck into the chicken of 2011!

Recipe: Four-Hour Roast Duck

1 5-6 lb. duck

1 c. honey
1/3 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tbsp. soy sauce
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 300F.

Clean and rinse duck, keeping or discarding any giblets and sauce packet. Pat dry.

Use a sharp knife and gently score the skin of the duck. Salt inside and outside of duck. Truss.

Roast breast-side-up for 1 hour. After the first hour, gently poke all over the skin of the duck to allow fat to drain. Flip the duck over. Poke the other side. Return to oven.

After the second hour, repeat the poke-flip-poke process. Return to oven.

After the third hour, repeat the poke-flip-poke process. Drain fat and save for later, if desired.

In a small sauce pan, combine honey, pepper flakes, soy, salt, and pepper. Heat gently until honey is thinned. Brush over the entire duck.

Turn oven to 400F. Roast for 5 minutes; glaze the duck again. Roast another 5 minutes, and glaze again.

Let duck rest before serving. Spoon any leftover glaze onto the duck.

No comments:

Post a Comment