We got adventurous one day and decided to try our hand at roasted duck. It was quite an experience. You see, duck, by nature, has a large amount of fat, so you have to cook it at a high temperature to render out the fat and to crisp up the skin. It sizzles in the oven the entire time. Our dog was not a fan of the noise coming from our kitchen.
We will probably never make a duck at home again. The terrified look on our dog, Olive's face was enough, but also, duck fat splatters... a lot... all over the inside of our oven. Yes, we have a self-cleaning oven, but cleaning the roasting pan alone was an adventure. That being said, the duck turned out beautifully, even if the skin didn't get as crispy as we'd hoped. Zack did most of the cooking on this one while Michelle threw together the turnip puree we paired it with. That post will be coming in a couple of days.
We based our duck adventure off of Alex Guernaschelli's Whole Duck with Green Peppercorn Glaze, but we changed a couple of things - like we didn't include green peppercorns at all.
Here's what you need:
1 5 1/2 lb duck
6 cups water
1 cup low-sodium soy sauce, divided
1/3 cup honey, plus 1/4 cup
1/4 white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp dry Marsala
Here's what you do:
Defrost your duck up to a week ahead of time. Remove the innards and save for another day. You can make a nice broth with them. Wash your duck thoroughly and place in a dish in the refrigerator until you're ready to cook it.
Move your oven rack to the center of the oven and pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees.
If there are any loose pockets of fat, remove them and discard. Season the inside of the duck with kosher salt.
In a large pot, combine the water, 3/4 cup of low-sodium soy sauce and 1/3 cup honey and place over low heat. Bring to a simmer.
Pat the duck dry with paper towels.
Submerge the duck, breast side down. Let your ducky hang out for about 30 seconds.
Then, give him a flip.
Remove the duck and place breast side down on the roasting rack.
Put your duck in the oven and turn the heat down to 400 degrees. Roast, breast side down for 20-25 minutes.
After about 20 minutes, remove the roasting pan from the oven and flip the duck over. Baste with the fat drippings at the bottom of the roasting pan.
You'll need to cook the duck for 15 minutes per pound of bird, which worked out to about an hour more for us.
About twenty minutes before you're ready to pull your duck from the oven, start your wine reducing in a small sauce pan. We started with about a cup of wine, since there are only two of us.
Now, get started on your glaze.
Combine the white wine vinegar, 1/4 cup of low-sodium soy, 1/4 cup of honey and Marsala in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil.
Once you have a rolling boil, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, letting the mixture reduce.
Just let that glaze hang out and reduce until your bird is ready.
Once your bird is cooked, move to a cutting board with a drip ring and pour the glaze over the top.
We did this on a cutting board with a ridge around the edge to try to catch the drippings. Speaking from experience, you'll want to put a cookie sheet under that to stop the overflow of glaze that will run out.
We just removed the breast meat for this meal and saved the rest of the duck for leftovers.
Your wine should have reduced by half. If this process happens faster than 20 minutes for you, just turn the heat down to low.
Now, plate everything and drizzle the reduced wine over the top.