It has been years since I've roasted a duck. In fact, Number One says I've never roasted a duck for him, and we've been married now for over seven years. The time is long overdue.
The other day, I had to make some room in the freezer, so I pulled out a duck. I decided it would make a nice Easter dinner, if not exactly a traditional one.
I rinsed the duck, inside and out, and removed the giblets from the cavity. I believe when I used to roast ducks, I stuffed the cavity with a whole orange and a whole apple, because that is the way my friend's grandmother roasted ducks. This time, I cut the orange and the apple in half before stuffing all four pieces in the cavity. I also rubbed the outside of the duck all over with kosher salt. I put the giblets (minus the neck) in the bottom of a roasting pan, with about an inch of water. The duck, salt-covered and stuffed with fruit is sitting on a rack in the roasting pan.
I preheated the oven to 375 degrees F (as directed on the duck package). This baby is almost 7 pounds, so it will roast for approximately 2 1/2 hours, or until a thermometer inserted in the thigh reads 180 degrees F, the legs move freely and the juices run clear.
This is a very easy and very delicious dinner. We served it with a salad and lightly sauteed asparagus and mushrooms.
1 whole duck, giblets removed and rinsed
1 whole orange (cut in half if desired)
1 whole apple (cut in half if desired)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place duck on rack in roasting pan. Place orange and apple in cavity. Place giblets in the bottom of the pan, along with about 1 inch of water. Rub entire duck with Kosher salt (a few tablespoons total).
Roast duck according to weight (see list below), or until a thermometer inserted in the thigh reads 180 degrees F, the legs move freely and the juices run clear. Keep an eye on the duck, add water if needed, and if the duck is getting too brown, loosely drape a piece of foil over the top for the last 1/2 hour or so.
4 pounds, 1 hour 25 minutes
4 1/2 pounds, 1 hour 40 minutes
5 pounds, 1 hour 50 minutes
5 1/2 pounds, 2 hours
6 pounds, 2 hours 15 minutes
6 1/2 pounds, 2 hours 25 minutes