Whether you’re hosting a smaller Thanksgiving or want to switch things up from the typical turkey, this roasted duck is just the bird to make. The brining method used here is a bit unconventional but yields delicious results: Dry brine ingredients (I used The Spice Hunter Original Turkey Brine, which is packed with seasonal herbs and spices) are bound with beer (an IPA or lager works best) and spread directly on the skin. This not only helps to season the bird, but also dries out the skin so that it becomes extra-crispy—a must for duck. While it roasts, brush the bird in a syrupy mixture of dark brown sugar and orange juice for a tangy-sweet glaze that balances out all those savory notes.
To a food processor, add the turkey brine and beer. Pulse until brine is well incorporated into the liquid, about 1 to 2 minutes (some larger chunks will remain).
Place duck on a wire rack fitted on a baking sheet. Spread brine mixture evenly all over the duck, inside and out. Place duck in the fridge, uncovered, for at least 12 hours or overnight.
When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 300°F. Scrape off the brine mixture and discard. Rinse the duck to remove any remaining brine. Cover the baking sheet with foil, and place duck on the wire rack on the baking sheet, breast-side up.
Cook the duck for 3 hours. After the first hour, flip the duck breast-side down. After the second hour, flip the duck back breast-side up.
In the last hour, combine brown sugar and orange juice in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat, and brush glaze all over the top of the duck.
In the last 30 minutes, increase oven temperature to 350°F and glaze once again. Once the duck’s internal temperature reads 165°F, remove from the oven and let stand for 20 minutes before carving.
Irene runs a monthly Brooklyn-based pop-up series called Yooeating, with new takes on Korean home cooking, street food, and drinking culture by pairing with other culinary cuisines that feel like home.