- Yield: 4 Servings
- Total Time: 4 Hours
- 1 x 2.25 kg free-range duck
- 5 oranges, juiced and strained (about 250 ml)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
How to Make It
- Preheat the oven to 140°C.
- Rinse the duck with cool water and dry it thoroughly. Cut off the excess skin around the cavity and neck, saving it to render later if desired. Cut a cross-hatch pattern through the skin (being careful not to slice the meat underneath) anywhere there is a lot of fat–particularly around the breast, sides and thighs of the bird. Make sure the slices are about 2.5 cm apart from each other. Fold the wings under and, using kitchen twine, truss the legs together. Place the duck breast-side up on a rack set in a shallow roasting tin.
- Cook the duck for 45 minutes, removing it once halfway through cooking to prick it all over with a sharp knife. The goal of the pricking is to make little holes for the fat to drain out of, so do this wherever there is a lot of fat.
- Turn the duck so that it is breast-side down and cook for another 45 minutes, removing it once more halfway through to prick the fat. If there is a lot of liquid fat in the bottom of the tin, transfer the duck to another tin while you pour the fat into a jar for future use.
- Remove the duck, prick the fat and cook for another 45 minutes, breast-side up, removing another time halfway through to prick the fat.
- Remove the duck, prick the fat and cook for another 45 minutes breast down, removing another time halfway through to prick the fat. At this point, the bird will have been in the oven for 3 hours. Measure the internal temperature, and if it is not at 75°C measured at the inside of the thigh, continue cooking until it reaches that temperature.
- While the duck is in the oven for the last time, bring the orange juice, maple syrup, rosemary and salt to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for about 20 minutes, until the mixture has reduced to a thick glaze.
- Remove the duck, pour the remaining fat from the tin into your jar, and turn the oven up to 200°C. Prick the fat one last time. Using a pastry brush, glaze the entire bird with the orange-rosemary mixture. Cook for a final 5 to 10 minutes, breast up, until the glaze turns a deep mahogany brown (watch closely to make sure it doesn’t burn).
- Let the duck rest, loosely covered, for 20 minutes. Carve and serve.