Treat yourself to some Roast Duck
For me, nothing screams decadence like roast duck. In Beijing, we feasted on crispy skin Peking duck with pancakes whenever we wanted to treat ourselves or celebrate.
That golden crispy skin connected to a layer of crunchy aerated duck fat ALWAYS fired up all the pleasure centers in my brain. Nothing is better. One bite and I was hooked.
As a result of my love for this tasty meat, I make it a habit to always order anything duck on the menu. Confit duck legs at a French restaurant. Duck pho in Hanoi. Duck starters here in Scotland. All equally delicious because, well, they are cooking with duck.
When in doubt, consult Ina Garten
I had grandiose ideas about how to roast a whole duck. My initial plan was to slow roast it for 5-6 hours in the oven on a lazy Sunday.
However, as it is with most Sundays, time got away from me. I didn’t have 6 hours. I had to pull out a tasty roast duck in a mere matter of 2 hours!
If anyone could help me out with a duck recipe, it would be the roast queen herself, Ina Garten. What did Ina recommend?
It turns out that Ina likes her duck simmered in chicken stock, rested and then quickly crisped it up in the oven. I’ll be honest with you. I wasn’t exactly thrilled with this method but I tried it nonetheless and damn if that wasn’t a tasty roast duck.
As for me and putting my own spin on it, I changed things up a bit. The duck is first poached in chicken stock, fresh thyme, garlic and black pepper then rested and crisped up in the oven.
I also changed up the temperature and cooking time as I found that this led to a juicier roast duck.
Why you should fall in love with curried marmalade sauce
Now, I could go on about how I love duck forever. But honestly, the best thing for me to tell you is that the dark and fatty meat of a roast duck should always be paired with a duck sauce that is sweet and slightly tart. That combination of flavors makes the meat shine.
Keeping that important tidbit in mind, I started my quest to create the perfect sauce to pair with the perfect roast duck.
So, with 2 glasses of wine into it, I peered in the fridge and fished out a jar of jam, marmalade to be exact. Next, I combined a tablespoon of it with 8 oz (240 ml) of the stock with which I poached the duck in then added a dash of hot curry powder.
I know this sounds like drunk cooking (and let’s be honest, it was) but what resulted was one of the best sauces I have ever made.
This sauce is so good that even my skeptical husband who initially thought it was a bad idea now wants me to bottle and sell it.
‘Don’t post this recipe’, he demanded. ‘Sell it! You could make a fortune!’
As tempting as it may sound to make a fortune off of my ‘cooking while buzzed’ endeavors, I just can’t do that. Why? Because this sauce is just too good to keep secret.
Succulent roast duck served alongside the most delicious sweet and spicy curried marmalade sauce. This recipe is meant to impress. #duck #roast #sauce #curry
2 liters (~8 cups) of water
3 chicken bouillon cubes
Small bunch of fresh thyme
1 tsp black peppercorns
6 cloves of garlic (smashed)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp Marmalade
1 tsp hot curry powder
1 knob of cold butter (about a tablespoon or so)
Take the duck out of the fridge and allow to warm to room temperature. Remember to take all the innards out, if needed.
While the duck is warming to room temperature, pierce the skin and fat without cutting into the meat. For me, I find it is best to pinch the skin and pierce it with a sharp fork. That way, you cut into the fat without harming the meat. Continue piercing like this over all of the fatty parts of the duck.
In a large pot big enough to fit your duck, add water, bouillon cubes, fresh thyme, smashed garlic cloves, black peppercorns and 1 tsp of sea salt. Bring to a boil, stirring as you do to make sure the salt and bouillon cubes properly dissolve.
Once at a boil, carefully add the duck. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce heat to allow a low simmer. Let duck simmer like this for 40 min.
After 40 minutes, remove the duck from liquid then let rest and air dry for 40 min. DO NOT WIPE AWAY THE FAT THAT SURFACES ON THE SKIN. You’ll want that fat for roasting later.
While the duck is resting, preheat the oven to 220 C/450 F (or 200 C / 400 F with fan). Pour the simmering liquid through a sieve to separate the stock from the debris. Don’t throw away this liquid goodness! You’ll need some of it for the sauce and the rest you can use for other recipes. I, personally, like to use this stock for making risotto.
Once the duck has rested for 30 min, roast in the oven. I usually roast upside down for 10-15 min or until golden brown then flip it and cook the top. Again, this should probably take 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Once golden brown, remove from oven and let rest for 10-20 min.
While the duck is resting, start work on the sauce. In a small saucepan, combine 8 oz (240 ml) of the reserved stock with 1 tablespoon of marmalade and 1 tsp of hot curry powder. Whisk together and bring to a boil over high heat. Let bubble away like this until reduced slightly (about a quarter less). When the sauce has reduced to your liking, remove from heat and whisk in a tablespoon of ice-cold butter. Keep whisking until butter is completely melted and dissolved into the sauce. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste if needed.
- Prep Time: 5 min
- Cook Time: 2 hours
- Category: Main, Duck, Roast
- Method: Simmering, Roasting
- Cuisine: Western
Keywords: roast, roast duck, thyme, garlic, black pepper, marmalade, curry, sauce, reduction
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