Here, where we have known major blizzards and record snowfalls, we had sunshine and warmer (high 20s) temperatures over the weekend. I decided it was time to defrost the "emergency" duck in the freezer. The one that had been tucked away since early November. The recipe is quite simple and always delicious. It served the two of us well (with a few bites for Oliver, of course) and enough left over for a warm duck salad later in the week.
1 (5-6 lb) duck
3 cups boiling water
1 Tbsp kosher salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1. Position oven rack in the middle and preheat to 425 degrees
2. Remove the giblets from the duck cavity. Remove the excess fat from the cavity and around the neck. Prick the skin all over with a fork. Fold the neck skin under the body and place the duck, breast side up on the roasting rack in a deep roasting pan. Slowly pour the boiling water over the duck. Cool the duck (this takes only a few minutes). Pour any water out of the cavity into the pan then dry the duck well, inside and out. Rub inside and out with the salt and pepper.
3. Roast duck, breast side up, 45 minutes. Turn the duck over and roast 45 minutes more. Turn duck again (breast side up), tilting the duck to drain any liquid from the cavity into the pan. Continue to roast until the skin is brown and crisp, about another 45 minutes (total roasting time is about 2 to 2 1/4 hours). Tilt duck to drain any more liquid from the cavity. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand 10 to 15 minutes before carving.
1 Tbsp butter
1 small shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup apricot jam
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 Tbsp brandy
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1. In a saucepan, melt the butter and saute the shallot for one minute. Add garlic and saute one minute more.
2. Stir in the apricot jam and chicken stock. Heat, stirring frequently, for about five minutes. When smooth, stir in the brandy and balsamic vinegar
3. Spoon over the duck and serve.