Today, we'll be cooking whole roasted duck. While most people think of having duck just for the holidays or may be intimidated by the idea of cooking the whole bird, I'll show you with this easy recipe how anyone can cook a whole roasted duck for any occasion. So let's get started.
For this recipe, you'll need 1 Maple Leaf Farms whole duck (defrosted), 1 Tbsp. Kosher salt, 1 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, 1 tsp. paprika, 1 orange (cut in quarters), 1 head of garlic (paper removed and top trimmed), and 2 celery stalks (cut in 2" pieces). First, you want to make sure your duck is thoroughly defrosted. if your duck is frozen, defrost it in the refrigerator for 2-3 days ahead of time. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and start a large pot of water, bringing it to a rolling boil. You want to make sure that your pot is large enough to submerge a whole duck.
Now for the duck itself. We're using Maple Leaf Farms whole duck with orange sauce because it's the most widely available duck available in retail stores. You want to remove the duck from the bag, remove and reserve the orange packet if applicable, and save the neck and giblets for later to make a delicious stock. Trim any excess fat from the body cavity and neck. Rinse the duck inside and out under cool running water and pat dry. Using a sharp fork and approaching at an angle, prick the skin all over the duck. Be careful not the pierce the meat as it will dry out. Even though this is super simple, take your time. I like to make sure I pierce the skin in 1" intervals, which will allow more fat to drain out while roasting and result in crispier skin.
Once you're finished, carefully put the duck in the pot of boiling water and boil for 10 minutes. Remove the duck and let it cool. Pat dry. Mix the salt, pepper, and paprika, and rub the duck inside and out with the spice mixture. Fold the neck skin under covering the cavity, and secure with a skewer. Stuff the orange quarters, whole head of garlic, and celery pieces into the cavity of the duck. Tuck or trim your wing tips and place the duck on a rack in the roasting pan breast-side up. Place your duck in the oven and cook for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, lower the temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. After 45 minutes, remove the duck from your oven and drain any fat that accumulated in the bottom of the pan. Strain and reserve this liquid gold to saute potatoes and vegetables, or use to add extra flavor with a nice crust to any meat you're searing. Very carefully turn your duck over and return to the oven for 35 minutes. After 35 minutes, repeating the same process, flip the duck so it's breast-side up and return to the oven. For 5 lb. duck, cook for another 15 minutes, or about 20 minutes for a 6 lb. duck. Total cooking time should add up to about 22 minutes per pound. Since oven temperature can vary, use a thermometer to check the internal temperature. It should be about 175 degrees Fahrenheit at the thickest part of the leg and thigh joint.
Once your duck is finished, remove from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Let it rest for 15 minutes. Remove the orange slices and celery pieces from the cavity and throw away. Remove and reserve the garlic. Now, you're ready to carve and serve. A Maple Leaf Farms whole roasted duck will generously provide 3 or 4 servings and I suggest keeping it simple and delicious when it comes to plating it. Whether you choose to present your duck whole or carve and serve family-style, dress your platter with some fresh herbs and orange slices. If your duck came with the orange sauce, you can follow the directions on the packet. Heat the sauce packet in boiling water or in the microwave. Serve it as it comes or add your own spices or orange liquor. Drizzle over the duck or serve on the side.
Roasted duck is delicious and versatile, so choose any side you like. I really enjoy goat cheese and herb mashed potatoes and baby red bliss potatoes with sauteed string beans with fresh ginger and honey. Remember that roasted garlic we saved? It makes a perfect spread for bread. Just squeeze out and spread on French bread slices. It's fantastic! And there you have it. Crispy roasted duck made easy with another great product and recipe from maple Leaf Farms. Thank you for watching, and we hope you enjoyed.
Follow this comprehensive guide to successfully roast and serve a whole duck.