Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Crisp Roast Duck with Apricot Sauce

On one long ago Thanksgiving in Texas, we experienced an early blizzard.  It started on Tuesday before Thanksgiving and continued for a day and a night.  There was no way to load up an infant and toddler and grocery shop.  The fresh turkey that I had reserved was to be picked up a from a farm on the high plains.  As far as I know, that turkey escaped any Thanksgiving table that year.  Our cupboard was as bare as Old Mother Hubbard's.   The other couple that was to join us happened to have a duck in their freezer.  While they feasted on duck, we feasted on potato soup and pumpkin pie.   From that year on, I've always had an emergency duck in our freezer.  To date, we've not had to resort to that bird.  This past Saturday, I figured it was time to treat us to roasted duck.  The recipe I found was the simplest preparation ever.  I do believe it was the best.  I checked out several recipes because I thought the roasting time was a little excessive.  It turned out to be just perfect.  The duck rendered most of it's fat and was nice and crispy.

I'm sharing our new duck recipe with you in case you haven't planned your Easter dinner.  I think it would be perfect.  Were we not invited out, I might have saved the duck until Sunday.

Crisp Roasted Duck as inspired by Epicurious

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.

Apricot Sauce

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.



  1. Ohhh you want to come prepare it for me too? I actually 'fix' as I think I've told you so I just pass all these good recipes along to my husband so he can surprise me!

  2. I always think that people who cook duck are brave!!! I have never faced one and prefer to just read and look!! I have also never tasted one!

  3. Gosh, that looks good and the sauce sounds yummy. I've never roasted duck. I am going to *have* to do that!

  4. Great story, Bonnie! We almost always have roast duck at Thanksgiving time but will be having ham, and turkey also, for dinner Easter Sunday. Your apricot sauce for the duck sounds perfect!

  5. I have roasted duck once in my life. You make it sound soooo good. I guess you always associate that Thanksgiving with duck ... memories of those tough times grow sweeter with age.

  6. Love, love duck!! I am keeping this recipe...just in case. Thanks.

  7. i am with ginny, never had duck or cooked one, it looks good in your photo.

  8. Will I ever live this down?

  9. This looks and sounds delicious. The ease with which it comes together is amazing. I'll consider that your gift to me :-). Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  10. what a great story and a delicous recipe as well!

  11. I love duck! This sounds like a delicious recipe and one I'd love to try. I don't make duck often enough at home!

  12. I looks delicious, but I've only had duck once or twice, as an appetizer.

    Enjoy your visit with your children! Happy Easter!


  13. Bonnie, what do you think the boiling water does? I may have to make this one for Evan and I Sunday. We will be having Easter for two. I LOVE duck. Thank you for the recipe. Hope you and yours have a wonderful Easter. blessings ~ tanna

  14. Great idea to have an extra bird. If you don't use it, it makes a wonderful meal at a later date!

  15. Fun story, Bonnie! When we lived in Michigan, we had wild duck all the time in the fall, so I always used to have some in the freezer. :) I made a red currant/wine sauce for it, but I'm mad for apricots. Next time, I'll make this. Your duck looks marvelous.
    When I was a child, we always went to my aunts for New Year's Day and she served goose.

  16. Hello new friend! I have never made roast duck before and it is on my list of things to try! I love your blog - I too like to marry my love of words with a love of cooking and sense a kindred spirit in you! Happy Easter :-)


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