Crisp & tender roasted duck with gravy
Every family has some meal that is always made on special occasions. With my family it is whole roasted duck. Each time something special happens, or the whole family gets together, my mom will make duck. It has just become an expectation. I am not really sure why this is the case, since neither my mom nor my dad particularly like duck, not that it stops either of them from picking the bones clean.
In fact, we have been doing it for so long that I remember when we used to make just two ducks. Now that the family has grown, we often make three if not four ducks, and somehow there seems to never be enough skin to go around.
Crispy skin and perfectly tender meat are the most important things to consider, and a little (or a lot) of trial and error has taught me a few things — patience being the most critical. As a sidebar, the skin is my favourite part, and I’m often sneaking a little more than my fair share where I can.
A quick sear and long low cooking time is the key to rendering the fat — or liquid gold as I like to refer to it — and ensuring that the skin gets crispy without overcooking the meat. Preheat the oven to a high temperature and after the meat goes in, turn down the oven to a much lower temp. (Tip: this cooking method also works well with other types of meat, i.e. roasted chicken.)
Every time I walk into my parents’ house and I smell duck I get a little excited. I know that it’s a special occasion, and I look forward to some crispy skin awaiting me at dinner.
roasted duck with gravy
4 tbsp marjoram, dried
1 whole duck, 5 lbs at room temp
2 tbsp salt and pepper (each)
1 carrot, cut in 1-inch pieces
2 shallots, halved
1 cup water
1/4 cup flour
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Mix salt, pepper and marjoram together. Place 1/4 of mixture in the cavity of the duck and spread the remainder over the skin.
Place carrots and shallots at the bottom of a roasting pan, and the duck on a roasting rack in the pan. Place in the oven.
After 5 min reduce heat to 350°F. Leave duck in the oven for another 2 hours and 15 minutes (or 165°F internal temp). Baste duck with rendered fat every 30 min. Remove from oven and let the duck rest for 10 min.
As the duck is resting, place 1 cup of pan drippings (strained) in a small pot over medium heat. Add flour while whisking. Whisk till fully incorporated and no lumps.
Add 1 cup of water while slowly whisking. Add salt and pepper to taste if desired. Serve gravy either on the duck or as a side, and enjoy.
Match: This recipe may call for a thick Barolo but if you have a light delicate Pinot, go for it.