Saturday, December 5, 2009
So here's my main dish. The pièce de résistance. Dish #6. Last year, I had roasted cornish hen. This year I went for something a little more adventurous. Roast duck. I was a little nervous going into this as I've never really roasted anything outside the chicken family. Sure, duck is a kind of poultry, but I was really nervous as heck. Duck doesn't come cheap and I couldn't afford mess this one up. Though, I'd still eat it either way. Anyway, I was determined to make the attempt.
At first, I was thinking Peking duck, but upon researching on how to make it, I find out that it's a bit of a process. Something that I didn't have much patience for at the moment. So I stuck with a simple roasting. There's just something about duck that makes it so good. I made a simple herb butter that I slathered all over prior to cooking. I also stuffed half of a sweet onion, one lemon, a couple garlic cloves as well as a couple sprigs of fresh herbs. I only used fresh rosemary and thyme for stuffing and the butter.
Roasted the duck for a good 2 hours, while basting it after 45 to 60 minutes with it's own juices to help get the skin nice and crispy. It also helps bring out more of the fat from the bird. Now I don't have a roasting rack and I didn't want the duck to be sitting in it own liquids. So in situations like these you'll just have to improvise. I took 2 tin cookie cutters and rested the bird over them. You can also use a couple of cans with both ends cut out. I had to be a little gentle in placing it in the oven for fear of toppling over, but it worked like a charm! After a couple hours and voila. Roast ducky.
I'm so happy with how this came out. Tender and juices. The herbs really blended into the meat really well. I was literally all nerves with making this one. Next time I'll make some steamed buns to go with it.
Herb Roasted Duck
1 5 lbs duck
1/2 medium sweet onion - halved
1 lemon - halved
1 large garlic cloves - peeled
fresh herb bundle - 1 thyme, 2 rosemary
1 Tbsp fresh thyme - chopped
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary - chopped
5 Tbsp unsalted butter - softened
Preheat your oven to 375˚F
Combine the butter and chopped thyme and rosemary. Set aside.
Wash the duck with running cold tap water, inside and out. Pat it dry with a paper towel. Remove an excess fat from the neck and butt area.
Season the duck all over with salt and pepper including the cavity.
Stuff the onion, lemon, garlic and bundled herbs into the cavity of the duck. Then spread the herb butter mixture all over.
Place on a roasting rack and onto a roasting pan. Roast for 2 hours. Baste the duck occasionally with its own juices to get the skin crisp. If you have a meat thermometer the temo should be 170˚F on the breast and around 180˚for the thigh.
Let the duck sit for 10 minutes to let the juices inside redistribute before serving.
Note: if you don't have a roasting rack use 2 aluminum or tin cookie cutters or 2 cans with both ends cut off to balance the duck on top.