While I was home visiting my parents for Christmas Tree Season, my Dad mentioned that we should try and cook Duck one night. I've eaten Duck a few times and really enjoyed it, but I thought of it as being VERY intimidating to cook. Not so! My Dad prepared the Duck for the oven, and I did the rest. Turned out fantastic!
First, the Duck. Washed, patted dry and coated well in salt and black pepper. We put ours on top of a couple stalks of celery, because we didn't have a roasting rack. Roasted breast side up at 375 degrees, turning the pan 180 degrees every 20 minutes. It took EXACTLY 2 hours to reach 180 degrees.
The sauce...Orange Chipotle from this epicurious recipe. OJ, cinnamon sticks, cloves, maple syrup and lime with a pinch of salt.
The side dish- which was my favorite new recipe of the night! The Plum Applesauce recipe I used called for fresh plums, but the store my Dad stopped at didn't have any, so I used canned (drained them) and cut back on the sugar. Don't peel the apples, just remove the core and roughly chop. Remove the pits from the plums as well.
The sauce, before it reduced. It's about 3 cups of liquid and is supposed to reduce down to about 1 cup. Cook on medium-low for about 40 minutes.
And we didn't want to waste any of the precious Duck fat! It costs a small fortune if you purchase it at the grocery store, but is supposed to by dynamite for potatoes, so I tossed a few potatoes with a little of the rendered fat and threw them in the oven too :) Seasoned with salt and pepper.
The applesauce took a little longer to cook than the recipe called for- but it was well worth it. Turned such a gorgeous color. When it finished cooking, I put it through a food mill to remove the skins.
The sauce about 1/2 way- it started to thicken really nice!
The finished Duck and Potatoes...the sauce was almost a caramel consistency, but really, really great! I can't say I noticed a difference in the potatoes from the way I usually make them, but they were still good.
And the recipe I will make again, and soon....The Plum Applesauce! This was gorgeous and had a wonderful flavor...cannot wait to make it again!
P.S.- A 4 lb Duck is only enough meat to feed 2-3 people. NOT a lot of meat on a Duck!