Source: Fine Cooking #102 (also at FineCooking.com)
This past weekend at the grocery store, a lone frozen duck caught my eye. It was on sale for $13… an unbelievable price for a locally-raised duck. It was frozen, but I can live with that given the price.
I remembered seeing a roast duck recipe in Fine Cooking, so I flipped through my magazines, and re-discovered a roast duck recipe that involves applying a dry rub, letting the duck dry overnight in the fridge, then applying a glaze in the last minutes of cooking.
The recipe calls for piercing the skin all over (without piercing the meat) and first cooked breast-side down on a rack to render as much fat as possible. Half-way through the roasting, the bird is flipped to develop nice crispy breast skin (at the same time, you collect any fat that has rendered).
Once the duck is cooked through, you collect the fat that rendered in the second half of the roasting, then raise the temperature of the oven and apply the glaze. The duck is cooked for a few minutes, glazed again, and cooked for a final few minutes.
The end result is a beautifully moist, golden-red duck.
And the byproduct is a generous amount of rendered duck fat. It’s flavoured with coriander and five-spice, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’m sure I’ll find a great use for it.