Roast duck skin is lovely the way it is — browned and crispy like cracklings. But brush it with a sweet-tangy-sticky glaze and the flavors just explode without affecting the crispy texture.
We served the roast duck Chinese style — slicing the skin thinly into pieces about three inches long and an inch and a half wide. Instead of traditional Chinese pancakes, we wrapped the sliced duck, slivers of cucumber and whole lettuce leaves in tortilla halves smeared with a mixture of hoisin sauce and sesame seed oil. With a bottle of cabernet sauvignon, our wedding anniversary dinner was just perfect.
This roast duck goes well with rice if that’s what you prefer. Anything that usually accompanies roast chicken would be perfect accompaniments for roast duck too. Such as? Mashed potato, macaroni salad, grilled corn, corn bread… whatever you fancy.
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Cut off the extreme appendages of the duck. This usually refers to the feet, wing tips and head, but I prefer to keep the wing tips on.
- Rub the duck inside and out with salt and pepper.
- If you have a roasting pan which comes with a rack, use it. If not, just position a rack inside a baking pan (see how to roast a whole duck). You don't want the drippings to fall on the kitchen floor.
- Roast the duck at 400F for 10 minutes then lower the temperature to 375F.
- Make a basting sauce by mixing together the orange juice, lime juice and honey. After the duck has been in the oven for an hour, baste it with the sauce every 10 to 15 minutes. I use a silicone basting brush for this job.
- If you're using a meat thermometer, once the temperature in the thickest part of the duck (thigh or breast) reaches 330F (165C), take the duck out of the oven. If you're not using a meat thermometer, poke a skewer into the thigh or the center of the breast. If the the juices run clear, the duck is done.
- Allow the duck to rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.
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