I’m dedicating this post to Marcia Mayne at Inside Journeys who was very first food blog hop host I met. Because of her a world of new friends opened up that I continue to have and grow with to this day! Thank you, Marcia!
Last winter I was whisking through Walmart trying to set a new land speed record with the grocery cart. All of a sudden I came across an item that I decided to make on a total whim. I wanted to know how to make your first roast duck a delicious success.
I was passing by the frozen bins and I have no idea how or why it caught my eye. But, I saw a white frozen chicken-shaped bag that said “DUCK” with an orange ribbon around the packaging. I thought you had to buy duck at a some sort of speciality store. I also saw Maple Leaf Farms on the package and I knew they were a reputable company. I started to go on my way then stopped and said to myself, “Hey, why don’t you see if you can make a roast duck.” I never had roasted one and I had only tasted duck once before in my life and I remembered that it was really good.
The next weekend I pulled my Maple Leaf Farms Duck out of the fridge (after properly and safely defrosting it for two days) and removed the wrapping. I saw an orange sauce packet and set it aside. Just like chicken and turkey I removed the giblets and neck. I tossed them in a trash bag but you can save them if you choose to and make a wonderful gravy. I decided not to since I had the orange sauce. Next, I throughly washed the duck off inside and outside then pat it dry and it was ready to cook!
I set the Maple Leaf Farms duck on a rack in a roasting pan. Make sure it sits high enough so that it will be above its own drippings in the bottom of the pan as it cooks. Then place it in a 350 degree oven at 30 minutes per pound. I have an ancient electric stove and the window has become a bit faded. I’m notorious for cracking open the oven door and peeking inside. This is an atrocious cooking no-no as you lose so much heat and that’s what they invented all of those handy-dandy new high-tech meat thermometers for. Regardless, I must peek though I am getting better at not doing that as much. And wha-laa the picture above was the final result! I was jazzed beyond belief! I anointed myself the honor to write a post on how to make your first roast duck a delicious success.
Side note, since I would be peeking anyway, I chose to constantly baste the duck with its own drippings. This is not in the instructions from Maple Leaf Farms and was solely my own decision. I’m thrilled I did it because I have no doubt it enhanced the flavor of the duck so much more and kept it super moist. But, you do not need to do this. The legs will move easily when it’s done and the skin should be golden in color and the internal temperature inside the breast is 165 degrees.
While the duck had been roasting I put together Giada De Laurentis’ Baked Potatoes With Parmesan Cheese and Bread Crumbs recipe here. Oh, and there’s mozzarella cheese in it also. I know, I know you’re licking your lips. While I was letting the bird rest I decided to go play with Phoenix as he had been so patient all day and we got into one of our wrestling matches in the yard.
Yes, I lost as always but it came to a halt as he looked at me, “Um Dad, is something still in the oven?”
Me, “Oh shoot! The baked mashed potatoes!” So yes, the top got overcooked a tad but that is all crisp cheese and bread crumbs on top just so you know. It was as delicious as ever and the rest of the dish was savory, succulent, cheesy mashed potatoes.
Back to the roasted duck which I let rest for 30 minutes. I carved it up and couldn’t wait to sample a bite before plating. I popped a piece in my mouth and let out a groan of delight. Oh my gawd it was good and I wasn’t done yet. I finished carving all of the meat off of it and removing the legs and wings. Then I put a little bit of butter and leftover duck drippings into a skillet and did a quick hot fry of some of the duck skin to make cracklings. I plated everything and spread some of the orange sauce over the meat.
Did you know duck is considered a red meat? A little trivia there. I took my first bite with the orange sauce and the meat was so incredibly rich and had a depth of flavor that turkey and chicken could never possibly achieve in my opinion. It was so incredible tender, almost fragile, and literally melted in my mouth after a few chews.
Do you know what topped it though? The duck cracklings that I stood up for presentation at the back of the plate. To this date I have never in my life tasted anything so insanely, impossibly, deliciously good. Now you know how to make your first roast duck a delicious success and how easy it is.
I will absolutely came back around to making duck again this winter. The next time I want to make duck confit and a duck pizza!
Have you ever had duck and did you like it? Or share your first roasting success story!
This post is a part of Marcia Mayne’s Inside Journeys Foodie Tuesday blog hop so check it out on Tuesdays!