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Author Notes: Celebrating Thanksgiving is a pretty big deal, so we all need a good show stopper and a whole roasted duck might be exactly what you need. The skin is lovely, crispy and the meat just fall off the bone, tender, juicy and delectable. I always like to get at least three free range, organic ducks, one for roasting and the other two for preserving. I love to confit the duck legs in fat and eat them during the winter. —jernejkitchen
- 2 large carrots
- 2 onions, peeled
- 2000 grams whole duck, free range
- 1 teaspoon dried juniper berries
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 210 °C / 410 °F. Place the onions, cut on quarters and large chunks of carrots in the baking tray. Also add the juniper berries, bay leaves and 2 cloves of garlic. In a small bowl mix together 1 tbsp of sea salt, pinch of freshly ground black pepper and finely grated orange zest. Rub the mixture all over your duck. Place the duck on top of the vegetables and bake at 210 °C / 410 °F for 25 minutes. TIP: Using a fork, pierce the skin of the duck all over, but don't make holes in the skin. Don't tie the duck together or it won't bake evenly.
- After 20 minutes lower the temperature to 130 °C / 265 °F and bake for additional 55 minutes per kg, in our case 1 hour and 50 minutes more. Basting with the reserved fat every 20 minutes.
- Increase the temperature back to 210 °C / 410 °F and bake for another 20 - 25 minutes basting every five minutes, so that the duck skin becomes golden and crispy. TIP: Save the remaining duck fat, as it has a lot of flavour and it is great for roasting potatoes or frying eggs.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Show-Stopping Holiday Main