Roast duck is a delicious alternative to the Christmas turkey.    Roast duck is perfect for the small Christmas dinner party.   Serve it with this sophisticated  orange sauce that will have you swooning with delight.  The bonus is the lovely duck fat you use for basting the bird, and for cooking after the feast is over.   To serve more than six people simply roast two ducks.

The trick to perfect roast duck is roasting it at  two different temperature.  You’ll get crisp skin and meat that’s not greasy by roasting first at a lower heat then increasing the temperature.



: roast duck
: 6
Roast duck with a tangy orange sauce
  • l free-range, naturally fed duck
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 2 tbs. kosher salt mixed with a few grinds of black pepper
  • 1 orange
  • 1 cup water
  • Glaze
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp orange liqueur (optional)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Sauce
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ⅔ cup chicken stock
  • ⅓ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • grated rind of an orange
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  1. Heat oven 375F.
  2. Make the glaze by mixing the orange juice, red wine vinegar and sugar in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Make the sauce by melting sugar over medium heat swirling pan but not stirring until light amber in colour.
  4. Remove immediately from heat as the sauce will continue to brown.
  5. Add the chicken stock, orange rind and orange juice and return to medium heat and reduce to 1 cup.
  6. Dissolve cornstarch in 2 tsp water, stir into pan and simmer about 30 seconds until slightly thickened, and set aside.
  7. Trim any excess fat, rinse the bird inside and out, and pat dry.
  8. Slip your fingers or a rubber spatula between the fat and the meat to separate them.
  9. Prick the skin all over with a sharp-tined fork taking care not to prick the meat..
  10. Rub the outside with the olive oil and then massage the bird thoroughly with the salt and pepper mixture.
  11. Tie the legs loosely together.
  12. Refrigerate uncovered for at least two hours or longer.
  13. If possible turn on a fan to let the bird air-dry while it comes to room temperature.
  14. Put the bird in a roasting pan (preferably fitted with a rack).
  15. Pour the water into the pan.
  16. Position the pan so that the bird's legs point toward the back of the oven.
  17. Roast for 45 min.
  18. Remove the pan from the oven and pour off the far and water.
  19. Separate the fat to use for basting.
  20. Return the bird to the oven with the legs facing the front of the oven. and increase the temperature to 400F.
  21. Continue to cook for another l hour and 15 minutes. During this time, pour
  22. grease off once or twice more.
  23. Refrain from basting for the last half hour of cooking time.
  24. Glaze the duck the last 15 minutes of cooking.
  25. The bird is done when the juices run clear from a thigh pricked all the way down to the joint and when a meat thermometer inserted in the inner thigh below the let joint reads 175F to 180F.
  26. Transfer the bird to a platter and tent loosely with tinfoil before carving.
  27. Serve with the orange sauce.



When handling poultry products eliminate any chance of cross-food contamination by washing your hands thoroughly after touching the bird. Keep a sink filled with hot soapy water with a small amount of oxygen bleach while you are preparing the duck.  The bleach will remain active for twenty minutes.

Salting the skin of the duck several hours before roasting helps crisp the skin and keeps the duck moist. You should also do this to turkey, duck and chicken.

Changing the position of the duck maintains even roasting.  The back of the oven (and generally the left hand corner) is the hottest part of the oven.




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