To me, roasting a duck seemed like one of the most difficult preparations to master. Luckily, it’s not as hard as it looks, especially if you have the right equipment. To start, you rinse the duck and remove the gizzards. Then, trim the excess fat flaps from the duck. I rendered these bits and used the fat to roast potatoes and asparagus.* The next step is to scald the duck with boiling water. This tightens the skin, which helps it to crisp. You can do this by simply bringing a kettle of water to the boil and then pouring it all over the duck.
Then I seasoned the duck and set it up in the rotisserie. We have a small, vertical rotisserie oven which is great for roasting chickens. It is also wonderful for roasting small ducks. I put a cup of water in the pan beneath the duck, and then started the rotisserie at 425.
After an hour, the duck was browning nicely.
While the duck continues to cook, make the glaze. The glaze is 1/4 cup honey…
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses…
And 2 tablespoons tangerine (or orange) juice.
Simmer this until it has reduced and thickened, about 5 minutes.
While the duck was cooking, I roasted potatoes with some of the rendered duck fat. First, I preheated the oven to 500 degrees. Then I cut the potatoes (I used russets) into two inch chunks.
Next, I put them into a pot, and covered them with water by about an inch. I added 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 tablespoon of salt, brought the water up to a boil, and boiled the potatoes for about eight minutes (they should not be fully cooked). Then, I drained the potatoes and put them into a large bowl. I added a bit of the duck fat (a few tablespoons), and then put another bowl on top of the bowl and shook the potatoes. The goal here is to bash the potatoes a bit so that the exterior of the potatoes mixes with the duck fat, creating an even coating on all of the chunks. I spread the potatoes onto a baking sheet, and popped them into the hot oven.
After 20 minutes, I flipped the potatoes over, and returned them to the oven to cook for another 15 minutes. They emerged from the oven crispy and golden brown.
At this point, the duck had been cooking for about an hour and a half. I glazed the duck with the cooled glaze.
After five more minutes, I glazed the duck again. Five minutes later, the duck was ready to come out of the rotisserie (the total cooking time was about 1 hour and 45 minutes).
I really like my rotisserie oven, but I have noticed that the top of the bird always gets more cooked than the bottom of the bird. To remedy this, you can flip the duck halfway through, but that can be tricky (flipping a hot duck in the middle of the cooking process isn’t my idea of a good time). So, I didn’t do anything, and it still turned out very well. After letting the duck rest for ten minutes or so, I carved it.
The duck was amazing, especially with a little extra glaze drizzled over the top. See, roasting a duck isn’t that hard (it only took about two hours, from start to finish, and most of that time was not active), and it is a very impressive dish! If only there were leftovers…
*To render duck fat, place the skin in a pan with about a half a cup of water. Cook, uncovered, over medium-low heat for a while, until the skin is crisp and golden brown and there is a good amount of fat in the pan.