Holiglazed Roasted Duck by guest blogger--T. Green (with recipe!)
This year, the darkest pandemic winter provided a special occasion to put Our perfect Farm on the table. At a time when we typically gather with chosen friends and family en masse, this was our first “duet" holiday: just the two of us. As such, the sensibility of a special intimate dinner with my wife was fitting of a beautiful Dickensian feast. We did require less feast, but definitely not less by way of festive or kitchen magic.
Our perfect Farm provided the perfect solution - we loved knowing our meat was raised on a local queer farm supporting both the agricultural PNW and LGBTQ+ communities.
The result… a glistening amber colored roast duck centerpiece.
HOLIGLAZED ROASTED DUCK
Just over 5 pounds, the bird is a perfect dinner for two (plus plenty left over) and requires a little effort for a big reward.
With 3 hours start to finish, rinse and pat dry before generously salting the bird inside and out. I removed the neck prior to roasting as it is a great dental treat for the dog (raw, no skin).
Stuff 4-5 garlic cloves and a quartered lemon into the cavity and tie off the legs.
A little research found me clipping the wings to avoid burning the bone; there is no meat to be lost by doing this. I clipped them to a length parallel to the cavity, so they were not sticking up beyond the bird.
The key to crispy duck skin is scoring the breast in a diamond pattern and poking through the fattier areas. This essentially “bleeds” the infamous fat and reduces the overall greasiness of the meat.
At 350° F, cook the bird breast side up for the first hour and flip for the next 40 minutes.
Next, drain and save the valuable duck fat for future use. Chefs consider it the best animal fat for cooking, and it enhances the flavor of anything it touches, from poultry to potatoes, and meat to fresh vegetables.
Turn the bird breast side up again, and for the next 40 minutes, baste every 10 minutes until the glaze is finished.
Baste = 1 lemon and 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar. In a separate bowl, combine 1/4 cup of honey with (leftover) 3 Tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar baste in the previous step; do this every 10 minutes for the next 40 minutes.
Total cooking time is 3 hours at 350° F. (1 hour breast side up + 40 min breast side down + 40 min breast side up brushed with lemon-balsamic mix + 40 min breast side up brushed with honey-balsamic mix.)
Happy New Year! Here’s to 2021, may it be everything this year wasn’t!