Crispy Roast Duck

"We’re having Duck for dinner." Those words can elicit a mouth-watering frenzy from the guests and an icy cold pang of fear from the cook. You see duck, that daffy, and often misunderstood water fowl seems to scare most home cooks. But I believe, that’s only because it’s not so common to cook it.
The truth is, duck is a very versatile bird that really can be very simple and easy to cook. And great results are only a few steps away.

This recipe calls for a whole duck from my friends at KOL Foods. No antibiotics, no growth hormones and completely pastured. So you’re getting an authentic duck experience. This crispy roast duck recipe will impress your friends, your family and your palate. So let’s get going:

What You Need:

  • One pastured Whole Duckling, 5-6 lbs.
  • 1 large Onion, sliced into ½-inch slices
  • Granulated Garlic
  • Kosher Salt
  • Coriander (optional)
  • Allspice
  • White wine
  • Head of Minced Garlic
  • Fresh Ginger
  • 1 Lemon
  • Chopped Scallions (optional)
  • Maple Syrup or Honey (optional)

Avi’s Spice Rub:

  • 2 tbs smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • ¼-½ tsp Cardamom
  • A few dashes Celery Seed
  • 2 tsp light brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp granulated Garlic

What You Do:

If simple were a recipe, this would be it. Simply lay out the sliced onions down in a roasting pan, the duck will rest on top of them.

Then put the duck in the pan. Season ALL sides of the duck lightly with all of the spices listed above. Place the minced garlic under the wings, between the legs and the thighs and all over the bird. By the way, if there’s a spice you don’t care for, don’t use it. Make this this recipe yours.

Zest the lemon over the duck, grate some fresh ginger over it as well. Pour the white wine into the bottom of the pan. Use wine that you would drink. If you won’t drink it, don’t cook with it either. Add about a half a cup of water to the pan, and then squeeze the juice of the lemon over everything.

Now, use the tip of a knife and gently pierce the skin on the breast a few times. You want to allow some areas for fat and steam to escape from under the skin. But be careful not to go too deep, as you do not want to pierce the meat of the breast.

Put the duck breast-side down into a 300°F oven for 40-45 minutes. Then flip the bird. Wait, I mean turn the duck over so that it will be breast-side up and cook for another 30 minutes or so.

At this point, we’re going to crisp up the skin. I like to lightly drizzle the skin with some maple syrup or honey, and turn up the oven to 450-500°F. Keep an eye on the duck so that you don’t burn the skin. The fat and the sugars will give it a great caramel color and crispy skin.

To serve, I like to garnish with freshly chopped scallions and carve the duck at the table. Remember that duck breast is longer than chicken breast, but that’s good because there's more of it. This recipe goes great with green beans or a nice garlic mashed potato.

This is a wonderful way to tell your family that you love them.