Duck is not chicken. You have to work to get the fat out. This recipe is the fastest roast duck I know.
There’s no overnight preparation or pre‐boiling. But you do have to sear the duck, which requires good
2 KOL Foods Pastured Ducks, about 3 ½ to 4 lbs each
Salt and pepper to taste
8 ounces raw sugar
8 ounces red wine vinegar
1 quart duck or chicken stock
½ cup Boukha (Tunisian fig brandy) (optional)
30 very ripe fresh figs, chop 20 and quarter 10.
1 fresh pomegranate, or 1 cup pomegranate seeds, or ½ cup fresh, pure pomegranate juice
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Wash ducks well. Trim off fat (reserve) and use a paring knife to pull out errant feathers. Rinse again and dry well. Using a sharp knife, score skin in a diamond pattern all over without cutting into flesh. Using a sharp fork, prick ducks all over. Sprinkle all over with salt and pepper and set aside.
Make sauce: Place sugar in a heavy quart saucepan and heat over low to medium heat without stirring until sugar melts and caramelizes. Do not let it burn. Remove from heat and add the vinegar, then the stock, the optional liquor, and the chopped figs and the crushed seeds of a pomegranate.
Simmer until the sauce is thickened and flavorful—about 30 minutes. Strain through a sieve.
Return the strained sauce to the pan and simmer. Add the quartered figs. Taste and adjust for tartness by adding some squeezed‐in lemon juice, salt and pepper. Keep warm.
Finish the Duck: Heat a large cast iron or heavy skillet over a high flame. Film with oil. Brown each duck on all sides, draining the copious amounts of fat that drains off through the cuts you made.
Place the well‐browned ducks on a roasting rack in a large pan, and roast breast side down for 45 minutes. Turn, baste with sauce, and roast 20 minutes. Turn, baste with sauce, and roast 10 minutes.
Test with a meat thermometer. The ducks should reach about 185 degrees. If not, continue roasting and basting until well browned and cooked.
Remove from oven. Let stand a bit, then carve. Spoon some sauce on the plate, top with a portion of duck, surround with a bit more sauce and fig quarters. Pass extra sauce.
The duck fat: Cook trimmed fat in a small saucepan and save. Drain off all excess fat when searing duck and save it in the fridge in a covered container. Next time you roast potatoes, use a few spoonfuls along with a bit of olive oil. You can also use it to brown chicken.