Roast Duck

Roast Duck (a la Garten)

This recipe is courtesy of and credit to Ina Garten, and is one of our favorites because it is easy and consistent in its results.  I will not attempt to reproduce her recipe exactly, because we always make changes anyway, and we typically start with a frozen duck since we buy them in season from a local farm, then freeze them.  Also, if it doesn’t work for you, you can then blame me instead of Ms. Garten.

1 large duck  (this week we used a 4.3 lb muscovy, but we probably prefer pekins)

6 quarts chicken stock, more if you need to cover the duck (or you can add a bit of water)

Black pepper

Defrost the duck in the refrigerator for 24 hours.  Brine the duck in kosher salt and water for another 24 hours.  Rinse off the duck and pat dry.  Set duck out on counter and let warm up to room temperature for 20 to 40 minutes.

Using a fork, prick the skin without piercing the meat, in order to allow the fat to drain during the cooking.

Add the salt to the chicken stock in a large stockpot and bring to a boil.  Add the duck to the boiling stock, and bring the stock back to a boil.  Make sure the duck is fully immersed.  (When we need to hold something underwater we use a small casserole bowl to weigh it down).   Lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes.

Skim off enough duck fat from the top of the stockpot to heavily grease the bottom of a roasting pan large enough to contain the duck.  Remove the duck from the stockpot and allow it to drain.

Place the duck in the roasting pan, legs and breast up, and pat the duck dry with paper towels.  Coat with black pepper to taste (we use a lot).

Let the duck sit 30 minutes to dry.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.  Roast the ducks for 30 minutes at 500 degrees.  Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving platter.  Cover with aluminum foil and rest for 20 minutes.  Carve and serve.  The meat is tender, and the skin is crispy and peppery.

Once again I have no pictures, having managed to delete them all by accident (laugh).  It was a beautiful duck too.

We served the duck last night with fresh garden tomatoes and feta in balsamic vinegar, along with steamed haricot vert, and dill-butter toast.  Yum!

After dinner, we refroze the chicken stock, and labeled it as chicken/duck stock.  Then we boiled the carcass and the bones, added carrots, celery, onions and seasoning, and made duck stock, and froze that.

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