Roasted Duck. ROASTED DUCK.
Sorry, just making sure you heard me clearly. I can't even begin to describe how great this recipe was and for us it was particularly special because its a fairly daunting recipe that we felt we nailed on the first go. Usually we try to keep our recipes simple, and while this one really does appear to be tough to make, its probably the easiest recipe that yields the greatest results we have on the site.
We were celebrating the progress our website has made in the last 14 months, and just needed a night to pat ourselves on the back for all of our efforts. Hundreds of hours of web development, dozens of Saturday mornings spent editing photos, plenty of long nights writing blog posts and curating content, and a few cases of wine along the way have resulted in our site today. Loads more work to be done, but it was a night to just give ourselves a pat on the back as we push forward continuing to try to create great food and improve our culinary and wine pairing skills .
So there's no way around this next photo: its a duck. Its a raw, naked, weird looking duck. It really just looks like a fat turkey and we are going to do a few things to prep our "fat turkey" before we get it in the oven. First off, remove any gizzards or insides left in the bird, and trim off the edges near its neck that look like flaps of fat.
Stuff the duck with 3 sprigs of your rosemary and your onion which should be quartered. Evenly distribute the rosemary and onion throughout the duck cavity and cram as much in there as you can. You will be amazed at how much more flavor this imparts into the meat than when roasting a chicken or a turkey.
The great part about duck is the fat. Now, we are all about eating lean and making sure we eat healthy, and don't worry, most of the fat comes right off in the oven while roasting and it can be preserved to make fun stuff like duck fat & rosemary popcorn. So, score the duck on the breast and the back while trying to not puncture through to the meat. This helps the duck give off some of that fat, leaning out the meat and giving you a great cooking base for later on. Before you start, pre-heat your oven to 425.
Once the bird is fully scored, you can rub it down with salt and pepper and place in a roasting pan. Toss in a 1/4 cup of water and place the duck, breast side down, in the oven. Leave in the oven until the skin starts to brown, the fat begins to render (you will smell the deliciousness and hear the oil cracking and popping), and the water has evaporated. This is about 40-45 minutes.
In a small bowl, strain out all the duck fat at the bottom of the roasting pan. Save this for later, but take 1/4 cup of your duck fat and add it in with your fingerling potatoes and toss with salt and pepper. Add the potatoes back into the roasting pan and flip the duck so the breasts are facing up (our photos do not do this, but it will make the breasts have a beautiful crispy crust). Place your last rosemary sprig on top of the duck and return to the oven for another 50-60 minutes.
When your duck has about 5 minutes to go and an internal meat thermometer reads 155f, place your jam, cherry juice, and wine into a skillet and turn to high. Stir constantly to reduce the liquid down until its a nice thick sauce. Don't overcook this or you will end with more of a syrup, whereas we just want a thicker liquid.
When the duck is finished, cut the breasts out, as well as pull off the legs and thighs. Serve each breast on their own, and one wing and one thigh each to the other 2 people. Place a good portion of fingerling potatoes on each plate and brush the reduction onto each piece of duck. Enjoy!