Duck is definitely my favourite meat.
Usually I buy frozen breasts from Lidl, but last Valentine’s I decided to do something different, and ordered a duck from my butcher. It was also frozen (fresh duck apparently isn’t easily found here in Spain), wasn’t cheap but it was whole.
First, I let it thaw. Very important step.
Then, following a recipe from the web (forgive me but I can’t remember where I read it and can’t seem to find it now) I did what seems to be the second most important thing: carving the thick layer of fat so it drips and the duck becomes the crunchy yet moist meat we all know and love.
The point is to cut the fat without piercing the flesh underneath, so be careful and calm – don’t rush this step!
Then cover the duck with salt and pepper. No oil or butter like with roast chicken because of that famous layer of fat – it’ll be doing all the moistening!
Now for the oven. Preheat to 150^C. Pop in your duck and cook, breast-side up, for 1 hour.
This is what it should look like after 1 hour. If you forgot to put or glasses on or if, for some reason, your camera fails to focus on the actual duck. Now what do you do? Flip it over (delicately), salt and pepper the backside and cook for 1 hour.
When I took the photos of this lovely meal-in-the-making I seem to have forgotten to take the photos of the back-side-up part, but I’m sure you can easily imagine it. Right?
Anyhow after another hour, flip the duck again so it’s breast-side-up and, you guessed it, cook for another hour!
Here it is, getting crunchier and starting to lose some of that wonderful fat!
When this third hour is finished….yep, flip it over and give that back another roasting. So it’s back-side-up for another hour! Don’t worry, we’re nearly done.
When your fourth hour is over, it’s time for the glaze.
I made this recipe before learning how to prepare for a blog post, so excuse the lack of photos of the ingredients.
What you’ll need is:
– 1/2 cup honey
– 3tbs orange juice
– 1tbs soy sauce
– hot sauce (whichever you prefer. I put some homemade chilli oil) – to taste
Put these ingredients in a pot and cook, at medium heat and stirring constantly, until they’re think and glaze-like. The liquid shouldn’t run off the spoon but flow slowly, lazily. You can do this during the last 15mins of the last hour of roasting.
Now take your duck out and remove all the beautiful fat that’s dripped to the bottom of the pan. You can put this fat into a tupperware and leave it in the fridge for months, using it as a substitute for butter when you make scrambles eggs, risotto or basically anything else your heart desires.
Back to the duck: brush it with the glaze and put it back into the oven, for 5-10mins at 210^C.
aaaaand it’s done! Carve and serve..
To recap the baking part:
I like it with rice, preferably something tending to sweet, like Egyptian Yummy Rice 🙂 The recipe for the rice will be on this blog later on…for now, enjoy your incredible duck!
PS I found the blog I followed: it’s this one!