There are certain things you can cook at home that just make you feel like you know what you’re doing.
The good news is, thanks to this life-altering recipe, you don’t have to know what you’re doing.
Does cooking duck scare you? If it does, I don’t blame you. I’m fairly certain that I might have been apprehensive about cooking duck before I read this recipe. But you know it’s from my favorite book, one that I’ve never made anything remotely bad from, and one written by people that I now trust explicitly.
I have no time to waste on a bad recipe after all, you feel me?
So, this duck…this duck is foolproof. That’s all you need to know. Duck roasts for 5 hours – yes, 5 full hours – slowly, skin becomes so crispy it will just blow your mind, and meat ends fall-off-the-bone tender. I’ve never had duck like this before.
Furthermore, I’ve never had a container of duck fat in my fridge, happily awaiting a future that will roast potatoes into the most glorious state potatoes could be imagined. I usually associate duck with being too fatty for my liking, but that’s because I’ve really only had the country club versions with the type of fat that’s chewy and oh-so unpleasant in my book. This is a different type of duck fat. This is the duck fat dreams are made of. There are just so many reasons to make this recipe, you see?
I wouldn’t mind to eat this duck on its own, like I imagine a starving savage would. I did, however, serve it over a mesmerizing purée of smooth, garlicky white beans and rosemary-infused olive oil. That purée I also find myself dreaming about often. I believe I ate the leftovers alone, in a bowl, as a meal.
Because there certainly wasn’t any leftover duck.
The Amazing Five-Hour Roast Duck
From Mindy Heiferling via The 150 Best American Recipes
- 1 Pekin (Long Island) duck, wing tips cut off (not necessary, but more elegant)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 1 small handful of thyme sprigs
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and set a rack in the middle level.
Remove the giblets from the duck; save the giblets and wing tips for stock, if you like. Dry the duck well with paper towels. Remove any loose globs of yellow fat from the two cavities. Rub the large cavity with salt and pepper and the garlic and put the thyme in it. With a small sharp paring knife, make dozens of slits all over the duck, piercing the skin and fat but being careful not to pierce the flesh. The easiest way to do this is to insert the knife on the diagonal, not straight in.
Put the duck breast side up on a rack set on a jelly-roll or roasting pan and put it in the oven. Every hour for 4 hours, take the pan out of the oven, pierce the duck all over with the knife, and turn it over. Each time, pour off the fat in the pan.
After 4 hours, increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Sprinkle the duck with salt and pepper and cook for about 1 hour longer, or until the skin is crisp and browned. Let rest for 20 minutes before serving.