For my birthday dinner, I decided to go out for Tapas because I've been on a trying new things trip lately, and I thought that would be a fantastic way to try as many new things as possible. One of the new things was duck confit. I don't see duck much here in Maryland - I mean, we have a lot of ducks, but not much duck meat. Not to mention, no one that I know well enough to take food from hunts, so duck is kind of hard to come by. Anyway, to make a long story short, I loved it. So, at Whole Foods Market in Annapolis, this transpired:
Me: I wish they had duck.
BF: [Disappears for a while, then comes back] Like this duck? [Hold up a duck]
Me: Oh my god! Duck!
[Duck buying proceeds]
Me: I don't know how to cook duck.
So, I went to Food Blog Search and found this fantastic looking recipe from Amuse Bouche, which I used as my inspiration. My technique is about the same, but my flavors are different. And let me tell you, this duck was amazing. The skin was crispy, the meat was moist but not at all greasy, and the flavor was heavenly. Not to mention, the smell during the whole five hours of cooking was unbelievable.
Slow Roasted Duck
1 duck, giblets and any flaps of fat removed, rinsed
1/2 onion, peeled
4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
1/2 orange, in four pieces
1 tablespoon salt
1-2 teaspoons pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 300F.
2. Season the cavity liberally with salt and pepper. Stuff it with the onion, garlic, and orange. Rub the skin with more salt and pepper, and prick with a paring knife, being careful not to pierce the skin (this works best if you do it at an angle).
3. Put the duck in a pan just large enough to hold it so the fat doesn't burn with the breast side down. Roast for one hour.
4. At the end of the hour, pull the duck out of the oven and transfer it to a baking sheet, large plate, cutting board - just something to hold it. Carefully pour the accumulated fat out of the roasting pan. Don't throw it away! Flip the duck over and put it back in the roasting pan. Roast again.
5. Every hour, pull the duck out of the oven, drain the fat, and flip the duck. If there are any pockets of fat towards the last two hours, prick them again with the knife.
6. After the duck has cooked for five hours total (more or less if your duck is very large or very small - this is very forgiving), pull it from the oven for the last time. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then carve it the same way you would a chicken. One duck should serve 2 people very comfortably, but probably not more than that.
7. Serve and enjoy! The duck fat, in my opinion, is too good to throw away. Mine is in a mason jar in the fridge, until I can accumulate enough to make confit. It's also supposed to be amazing with potatoes. Food Blog Search has a wealth of ideas for it. I also froze the bones to make stock in the future.