Classic Crispy Roast Duck
Prep Time: 30 minutes, mostly rest time. Cook Time: 1 hour
- 1 duck
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- 4 sprigs sage, rosemary, parsley and/or thyme
Preheat oven to 350°F. Take the ducks out of the fridge. Using a needle or a very sharp knife point, prick the skin of the duck all over — but be sure to not pierce the meat itself, only the skin. This helps the fat render out and will help crisp the skin. Pay special attention to the back, the flanks, and the very front of the breast.
Rub the lemon all over the duck and stick it inside the cavity. Liberally salt the bird; use a little more salt than you think you need. Stuff the cavity with the herbs. Let the duck sit out for about 30 minutes to come to room temperature.
When you are ready to roast, put the duck on an iron frying pan or other ovenproof pan (dutch oven) and surround it with root vegetables. Set the pan in the oven. Cook 1 hour. Take the pan out of the oven and set the duck on a cutting board to rest. Spoon any fat that has accumulated over the vegetables and salt them well. If the vegetables are ready to eat, remove them. If there is a lot of excess fat, spoon it off.
Now turn the heat up to 450°F. When the oven hits this temperature, roast the duck for 15 to 20 more minutes, or until the skin is crisp. The reason you take the bird out of the oven is because a) the resting time helps redistribute the juices in the bird midstream, and b) you are crisping skin without totally overcooking the duck by only returning it to the oven when it is hot.
Remove from oven and let the birds rest for 10 minutes.
Duck goes well with fruity tangy sides. Serve with cumberland sauce or plumb sauce.
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