Roasted Whole Duck with Orange Marmalade
The marmalade can be made the night (or even a couple days) before. That way, you simply roast the duck the day of an enjoy assembling dew parts of the dish. Note: If you have a brand of marmalade you really love, feel free to substitute a jar to save time.
Yield: 4 servings
1½ cups honey
¼ teaspoon saffron threads, finely chopped
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Make the marmalade: Put the honey into a large skillet and bring to a simmer over low heat. Meanwhile, under cold running water, scrub the oranges and lemons. Cut them each into twelve even wedges (like a wedge you would get in a glass of iced tea or on the side with fish in a restaurant) and then slice those wedges into small pieces. Imagine making a smiley face (a.k.a a lemon wedge) into almost a small dice by slicing each wedge vertically into small pieces. As you are cutting, remove any pits or large “pithy” pieces. Transfer the lemon and orange flesh to a bowl.
Add the saffron, salt and pepper to the honey and bring the mixture to a simmer. The honey should froth and bubble and turn slightly darker in color. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the honey to “settle” a little, 1-2 minutes. Then gently add in the citrus and return the skillet to the heat. Bring to simmer, stirring gently and steadily. Cook (using a candy thermometer) to 220-222°F. Do not put the thermometer all the way so it touches the bottom. Put the thermometer in halfway and test the temperature from the center (not the bottom) of the pot. If not using a thermometer, look for the texture of the liquid to thicken slightly as the fruit and honey cook together. The process should take about 10-15 minutes.
Transfer the marmalade to a bowl and allow it to cool.
One Long Island Duck, 3-3½ pounds
1. Preheat oven to 350°F and arrange the oven rack so it is positioned in the center of the oven. Remove the innards and reserve them for another recipe, if desired. Remove any loose pockets of fat surrounding the cavity. Season the inside of the duck with salt.
2. Count about 15 minutes roasting time for each pound of duck. Place the duck in a roasting pan fitted with a rack. Using a rack to slightly elevate the duck from the bottom of the roasting pan will allow hot air to circulate around it as it cooks.
3. Place the duck in the center of the oven and cook, undisturbed, for half an hour. Then increase the oven temperature to 400°F. Remove the duck from the oven and baste with some of the excess fat in the bottom of the pan. Season the outside with salt. Return the pan to the oven and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes. The duck should register about 155°F when a thermometer is inserted into the thigh meat. Remove from the oven and allow the bird to “rest” for about 15 minutes. Note: reserve any fat that accumulated at the bottom of the pan. I use that duck fat like butter for cooking. It’s delicious!
Assembling the dish:
Transfer the duck to a large serving platter. Heat the marmalade and generously glaze the exterior of the duck with it. Serve immediately.