One of my favorite holiday main dishes is duck. It is so rich in flavor and decadent that my dinner table feel so special. But it doesn’t have to be a special occasion to make this glorious meal. And it really isn’t difficult to make. But don’t tell anyone, let them think you slaved all day to make dinner. I won’t reveal your secret.
1 whole duck, fat trimmed
1 cup chicken broth
2 parsnips, roughly chopped
2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
4 shallots, roughly chopped, skin on
1 fresh herb bundle (thyme, sage, rosemary)
Additional 3 sprigs of thyme, sage and rosemary)
6 garlic cloves, whole
1 whole lemon, quartered
seasoning mix (1 tbsp. salt, 1 tbsp. black pepper, 1 tsp paprika)
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
To begin, we need to prepare our duck. If your bird has a lot of fat hanging from the cavity and tail, trim it down with a sharp knife. But save the trimmings because we are going to roast it with the veggies for added flavor. Then, using a sharp knife, score the top of your duck. I like to make a diamond shape. You want to cut through the fat layer but not hit the flesh. This will allow the fat to escape. Also, I like to tuck the wings under the duck so they don’t burn.
Heavily season all sides of the duck and inside the cavity with the seasoning mix. Don’t be afraid of the seasoning.
Fill the cavity with half of the carrots, parsnips, and celery. Add the shallots, garlic and herbs bundle and half of the lemon. Tuck the lose skin from the tail around the cavity.
Place the duck breast side down in a roasting pan.
The duck needs to cook 25 min per pound or until it reaches an internal temp of 160 degrees. It should cook somewhere between 2-3 hours.
After the first hour, remove the duck from the oven and set the roasting rack with the duck to the side. Add the remaining veggies and herbs to the bottom of the pan and toss them in the fat. Squeeze the juice from the other half of the lemon over the veggies and add the lemons to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. You can also add fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme and sage. Replace the duck and roasting rack. Flip the duck over so the breast side is up.
Using a basting brush, grab some of that wonderful fat that has collected at the bottom of the pan and brush the top of the duck. Place the duck back in the oven.
Continue roasting until the internal temp reaches 160 degrees.
Remove the duck from the oven and allow it to rest for at least 20 minutes. Can you tell how juicy this duck is? And the skin is wonderfully crispy.
Once the duck has cooled some, remove and discard the veggies and herbs from the cavity.
Take the veggies from the roasting pan and plate. Top with your beautiful roasted duck and spoon over some of the jus from the pan.
Your duck is ready! And once you make this and discover how easy it actually is, you will be counting the days until you can serve it again.