Roasted duck with pomegranate chili sauce and roasted buttercup squash

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This dish was pretty good but I like the roasted duck breast recipe much better. It's also a lot easier to cook duck breast. But now I can say that I've cooked a whole duck. It was part of Meat CSA Installment #5.

This recipe is pretty much this recipe though I reduced the cooking times because my duck was smaller. I didn't reduce them enough, however, and my duck was a little overdone. But the pomegranate chili sauce made everything OK.

The plate also included buttercup squash roasted with maple syrup and butter.

And a few Brussels sprouts. They were stemmed and cut in half and stir-fried with a little olive oil. When they were partially cooked I added minced garlic. The rest of the seasoning is just salt and pepper.

4.75 lb. Long Island duck (also known as Pekin duck)
2 cups boiling-hot water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°F.

If necessary, cut off wing tips with poultry shears or a sharp knife. Remove and discard excess fat from body cavity and neck, then rinse duck inside and out.

Prick skin all over with a sharp fork. Fold neck skin under body, then put duck, breast side up, on a rack in a 13- by 9- by 3-inch roasting pan and pour boiling-hot water over duck (to tighten skin). (Like chicken, "breast side up" is when the drumsticks are on top.)

Cool duck, then pour out any water from cavity into pan. Pat duck dry inside and out, reserving water in pan, then rub duck inside and out with kosher salt and pepper.

Roast duck, breast side up, 30 minutes, then remove from oven. Turn duck over and roast 30 minutes more.

The original recipe said to use two wooden spoons but I found that one spoon and a very large pair of tongs works better. But be careful not to puncture the skin with the tongs.

Turn duck over again (breast side up), tilting duck to drain any liquid from cavity into pan. Continue to roast duck until skin is brown and crisp, about 30 minutes more (total roasting time: about 90 minutes). Tilt duck to drain any more liquid from cavity into pan. Transfer duck to a cutting board and let stand 15 minutes before carving.

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My duck was only 4.75 pounds, and I could have cooked it even less than that. I took it out 7 minutes early but I probably should have reduced the times to 25-25-25 instead. The original recipe called for 45-45-45 which I can't help but think would terribly overcook the duck unless if was truly huge.

You could separate out the liquid and duck fat by refrigerating it, but I already had enough duck fat so I just discarded the pan liquid.