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Roasted Whole Duck

Adapted from the following:


  • 1 5 pound duck
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1/2 orange
  • 1/2 onion
  • Several springs of thyme
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425 F with rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. If necessary, cut off wing tips with poultry shears or a sharp knife. Remove excess fat from body cavity and neck, then rinse duck inside and out.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. Slice the orange and onion into wedges and smash and peel the garlic cloves. Stuff the orange, onion, garlic, and thyme into the cavity of the duck.
  6. Roast duck, breast side up, 45 minutes, then remove from oven. Turn duck over, and roast 45 minutes more. 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 45 minutes more (total roasting time: about 2 1/4 hours).
  7. Tilt duck to drain any more liquid from cavity into pan. Transfer duck to a cutting board and let stand 15 minutes before carving.


Pour the liquid leftover in the roasting pan into a container and store it in the fridge. When it has fully cooled, skim and reserve fat that has risen to the top.

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