1 – 4 to 6 pound duck
Any aromatics you want to fill and season the cavity with. My favorites for this simple recipe are orange wedges, garlic, Kosher salt and ground pepper and a bit of fresh rosemary or sage.
Trim the excess fat from the duck. Save the fat to render for later use.
Season the duck with the Kosher salt and orange zest 24 hours before roasting. Be generous when rubbing the salt/zest mixture into the bird. Be sure to season the entire bird including the cavity.
When ready to roast; Prick the skin over the entire duck with a sharp paring knife. Be careful NOT to pierce the meat, just pierce the skin. This will render the fat from the bird while it roasts, drying the skin out and making for that delicious Crispy skin we all love so much.
Stuff the cavity with the orange, garlic, aromatics of choice.
On a rack in a large roasting pan, place the Duck breast side down. Roast at 450 degrees F for 30 minutes. Flip the Duck so it’s breast side up, reduce heat to 350 degrees F and roast for another 30 minutes. Drain the roasting pan with a turkey baster, removing excess fat and juices from the bottom of the pan. This will help reduce any smokiness the fat may cause while cooking. Continue to roast the duck until done. It can take an additional hour or even 2 hours depending upon the size of the duck and your oven.
To test for doneness, the leg of the duck should wiggle freely. A thermometer inserted into the fattest part of the thigh should register 175 degrees or above. Carve the duck as you would a chicken and serve with elegant orange champagne sauce for a wonderful holiday meal.