Roasted Duck with Cranberry Gravy
I have to say that as much as I like roasted duck I really want the duck fat to use later for roasting potatoes. People pay money for duck fat. I keep it in a jar in the refrigerator right next to the bacon fat. Duck fat has a flavor like no other.
This roasted duck recipe takes about 2 hours to prepare and roast so schedule accordingly. The recipe is not hard but all the details should be followed. I like the Jacques Pepin method for roasting whole duck that cooks them almost well done with a lovely crispy skin. Keep in mind that a 5 ½ to 6 pound duck will feed about 3-4 people so double the recipe if you need to. A large roasting pan will hold two birds easily. I served my duck with scalloped potatoes and roasted broccoli. These three recipes serve 4 people comfortably.
Roasted Duck with Cranberry Gravy
1 (5 ½ - 6 pound) duck
Salt & Pepper
1 c water
1 T vegetable oil
1 carrot, peeled & coarsely chopped
1 tomato, cored & coarsely chopped
1 celery rib, coarsely chopped
½ large onion, peeled & coarsely chopped
1 large garlic clove, crushed
1 bay leaf
2 t herbs de Provence
1 ½ T all-purpose flour
2 T tomato paste
2 c chicken broth
½ c dry white wine
3 T sugar
3 T cider vinegar
½ c cranberry juice
¼ c whole cranberry sauce
1 c fresh cranberries
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cut off the first two wing joints of the duck and reserve. Using poultry shears cut the neck and wing joints into 2 inch pieces. Prick the duck all over especially the thighs, back and breasts using the sharp end of a shish kabob. Season the duck inside and outside with salt and pepper. Set a rack in a large roasting pan. Set the duck in it breast side up. Add the water to the pan and roast the duck for 20 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees. Turn the duck on its side using balls of tinfoil on either side to prop it up. Roast for 30 minutes then turn it over to its other side and roast for 30 minutes longer.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat the oil on medium heat. Season the heart, gizzards, wing joints and neck pieces with salt and pepper. Add them to the pot and brown them stirring occasionally until nicely golden brown. Add the carrot, tomato, celery, onion, garlic, bay leaf, and herbs de Provence. Sauté until the vegetables are soft about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and tomato paste and cook for about 1 minute stirring until everything is nicely coated. Add the broth and wine and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for one hour. Strain the sauce into a bowl, pressing on the solids.
In a medium sauce pan, heat the sugar and the vinegar over medium heat. Stir until the syrup is a golden color, about 3-4 minutes. Add the cranberry juice, cranberry sauce and the fresh cranberries and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to low and add the strained duck sauce. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
Remove the duck from the oven and lift out the rack. Pour the duck fat into a fat separator and place the rack with the duck back into the pan. Turn the duck breast side up and roast for 40 minutes longer. Remove the duck from the oven and preheat the broiler. Broil the duck about 6 inches from the broiler turning the pan until the duck is browned evenly about 3 minutes. Remove from oven and insert a wooden spoon into the duck cavity and lift the duck so that the juice inside the duck runs off into the pan. Place the duck on a platter and let it rest for about 10 minutes. Scrape the pan juices into the fat separator and pour the duck juice back into the roasting pan. Set the roasting pan over two burners and simmer over medium heat scraping up all the brown bits in the pan. Strain the pan juices into the cranberry gravy. Reheat the cranberry gravy over low heat. Stir the gravy until all the pan juices are well incorporated. Carve the duck and serve with the cranberry gravy.
1 pound of Russet potatoes, peeled & sliced on a mandoline
1 cup heavy cream
2 large garlic clove, peeled & smashed
1 bay leaf
1 t herbes de Provence
2 black peppercorns
½ t salt
1 c Gruyere cheese, shredded
½ c Parmesan cheese, finely grated
Butter to grease the pan
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Butter a 2 quart casserole dish (I used a ceramic quiche dish). In a small saucepan add the cream, garlic, bay leaf, herbes de Provence, peppercorns and salt and whisk together. Heat over medium heat for about 5 minutes then turn the heat down to low and simmer for about 15 minutes. Do not let it boil or it will scald the cream. Strain the cream into a bowl. Lay 1/3 of the potatoes in the buttered quiche dish and top with 1/3 c of the Gruyere cheese and 2 ½ T of the Parmesan cheese. Repeat again. Add the final layer of potatoes but not the final layer of cheese. Pour the cream all over the potatoes until all is covered. Cover with foil and bake for 35-45 minutes. Remove the foil and add the final layer of cheeses. Bake for 35-45 minutes longer. When top is a golden brown remove from oven and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
3 heads of broccoli, peeled and cut into spears
Salt & pepper
On a rimmed sheet pan toss the broccoli with enough olive oil to coat the broccoli. Spread the broccoli over the sheet pan. Salt & pepper the broccoli to taste. Slide the sheet pan under the duck on its last 30 minutes of roasting. Serve immediately.