Paleo Crispy Baked Duck

2013-01-07
As I’ve mentioned before, I love turning on the Food Network when I’m cooking or eating meals.  I have gotten some really amazing information and ideas by just having it on in the background.  I discovered this recipe one morning on “The Best Thing I Ever Made.”  Ted Allen says that the recipe was inspired by a book, “A New Way To Cook,” by Sally Schneider.  I not only printed out his recipe, but immediately went on Amazon to purchase Sally’s book.  Her recipes are all geared toward eating well, and eating healthy… so I know I will enjoy exploring her many recipes.  This recipe in particular uses a method of cooking that makes the duck both crispy and leaner at the same time!  By piercing the duck’s skin throughout the cooking process, the drippings baste the meat, then fall through the wire rack to the pan.  It is a low and slow process that does involve a few minutes of time every hour, but for the weekend or a special occasion, it is worth it!

My Yia Yia used to make my Mom duck l’orange for her birthday, so I knew that she had fond memories of duck.  When Taylor and I went home for the Christmas holiday, I decided to bring the duck recipe with us, so we could make it for her birthday (on December 23rd).  We made it a few days later, and started it a little too late in the evening for a sit-down dinner.  However, as we stood around the stove, picking at the duck, dipping it in sauce, it certainly felt like a celebration.  I even served it for breakfast to Taylor the next morning.  I used a little of the reserved duck fat to heat some pieces in a non stick pan.  Meanwhile, I poached an egg to serve on the top.  It was delicious!  Hopefully we can get our timing better next year, but I’d love to make roasting duck with my Mom a new tradition!

Ingredients

  • one 3-5 lb Peking duck
  • sea salt, black pepper, to taste
  • lg shallot, minced
  • 3-6 cloves garlic, minced (3 tsp)
  • 1 cup fresh organic cherries, quartered and pitted
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbs cherry whole-fruit preserves
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbs unsalted butter

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  • 2. Set a wire rack inside a roasting pan
  • 3. Rinse the duck inside and out and pat dry
  • 4. Trim any excess fat from the neck and cavity, snip off wingtips and discard
  • 5. Sprinkle the duck inside and out with sea salt and pepper
  • 6. Using an extremely knife, make dozens of slits through the skin and fat (taking care not to pierce the meat) all over both sides and all parts of the bird
  • 7. Put the duck breast-side up on a rack in a roasting pan and roast for 1 hour
  • 8. Take the bird out of the oven, transfer to a platter and carefully drain the fat from the pan into a large pyrex measuring cup
  • 9. Return the duck to the pan, prick with the knife again, turn it breast-side down and roast another hour
  • 10. Repeat each hour, roasting the duck for a total of 4 1/2 hours
  • 11. While the duck cooks, make the sauce: In a small saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon duck fat over medium heat and cook the shallots until soft, about 4 minutes
  • 12. Add the garlic and cook, 1 minute
  • 13. Add the cherries, stock, preserves, honey and rosemary, and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes
  • 14. Remove from the heat, add the lemon juice, butter
  • 15. Set aside until the duck is finished
  • 16. After 4 1/2 hours of roasting, turn the oven temperature up to 350 degrees
  • 17. Prick the duck skin one last time, and return bird to the oven, breast-side up
  • 18. Roast for 30 minutes until the skin is nicely browned
  • 19. Remove from the oven, tent with foil and let rest for 20 minutes
  • 20. If necessary, gently reheat the sauce over low heat
  • 21. Serve with sauce on the side or on top!
  • 22. Enjoy!