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Perfect Roast Duck

After trying several different oven temperatures and timings to cook the duck, the final choice was to roast by the long, slow method. It resulted in the crispest skin and the most succulent meat. Let the duck sit, uncovered, in the refrigerator overnight before you bake it to help dry and crisp the skin. Unless a duck is very large, it is easier to cut off the legs and thighs, and then remove the breast for carving. Serve with celeriac and apple mashed potatoes, and snappy green beans.

Ingredients

STUFFING
2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
½ cup (125 mL) chopped onion
1 large apple, peeled, cored and chopped
3 cups (750 mL) torn bread
½ cup (125 mL) chopped prunes
⅓ cup (80 mL) chicken stock, plus more if needed
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped tarragon
1 tsp (5 mL) grated orange zest
Salt and freshly ground pepper

DUCK
1 duck, 5 lb (2.2 kg)
2 tbsp (30 mL) soy sauce
1 tbsp (15 mL) balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper

SAUCE
1 cup (250 mL) chicken stock
½ cup (125 mL) orange juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

  1. For stuffing, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add apple and cook for 1 more minute or until coated with oil. Stir in bread and cook until edges are golden, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Add prunes, stock, tarragon and orange zest. Cook for 2 more minutes or until stock is absorbed and mixture is combined. If it seems too dry, add a little extra stock. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve.
  2. Preheat oven to 250°F (120°C).
  3. For duck, using a fork, prick duck skin all over to help release fat. Fill cavity with stuffing. Place duck on a rack in a roasting pan. Combine soy sauce and balsamic vinegar, and brush over duck. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake for 3 hours, pricking skin again after 1 hour to help render fat. Baste with soy sauce mixture several times during roasting.
  5. Increase oven to 350°F (180°C) and bake for about 30 minutes more or until skin is crisp and juices run clear.
  6. Place on a carving board and let sit for 10 minutes before carving.
  7. For sauce, discard fat from roasting pan, leaving all juices. Add stock and orange juice, and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Boil for about 2 minutes, or until sauce thickens slightly. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into a sauceboat and serve with duck.

Serves 4

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