Pre-heat your oven to 300 degrees. (Convection will speed up your cook time so keep an eye on your duck if you are using convection.)
Place a rack in your roasting pan to elevate the duck and keep it out of the fat that will come out of the duck.
Add about 2 cups of water; place the duck on the rack.
Score the skin on the duck breast with a knife of poke holes in it with a fork.
Cover with the lid and roast for approximately 30 minutes per pound of duck. I check on the duck 2 or three times throughout the roasting time, baste it a little, but it does well on its own.
The duck meat should fall off the bone and be super tender, if it is not, keep roasting until it does. Place on a plate and strain all the drippings from the duck into a large measuring cup or bowl and place in the refrigerator.
I like to have the duck ready about 2 hours before supper so I can take the meat off the bones. (You can use the bones for soup, just like chicken soup)
Once all the meat is off the bones I put it in the refrigerator to cool and then I re-heat just before supper. You can cook the duck the night before, and heat everything up when ready.
Duck fat from a grass fed duck is full of wonderful oils and fats. Duck fat is prized in many countries as a tasty and healthy fat. It is delicate; full of flavor and you will be amazed how beautiful it is to cook with.
Change your oven temp to 350.
Wash and cut your potatoes into bite-sized pieces and place them in Pyrex baking pan or you can use a cookie sheet.
I like Yukon gold or chieftain potatoes, as an organic grower, both do well and tolerate pests. (They say to estimate a ½ pound of potatoes per person, so that is about a large coffee cup full.)
Slice or chop fresh garlic and put it in with the potatoes. Salt & pepper to taste. (I use freshly ground sea salt and tri colour peppercorns. Fresh ground is so flavourful!)
After about an hour, the duck fat, which almost looks like butter, will float on top of the duck drippings that look like un-thickened gravy. Skim off and keep the duck fat. Add one or two tablespoons of duck fat to each pound (2 servings) of the potatoes.
Keep the remaining duck fat to use in baking or cooking, or to spread like butter on toast, it has a wonderful flavor. Tell your friends from Paris and they will be right over. In France Duck fat is a prized possession, and can you imagine it spread on a slightly warm, fresh baguette? MMMmmmmmmm, sometimes I just miss bread!
Place the potatoes in the oven at 350, for just over an hour, the edges of the potatoes will get brown and crispy.
Place the drippings from the duck, (brown in colour) in a saucepan and bring it to a boil so you can thicken it. We use a rue, or cornstarch, but your normal gravy thickening method will do.
Rue Method -Add a tablespoon of duck fat and 2 tablespoons of flour, heat on medium heat until the four starts to turn to a warm brown colour. Add the duck drippings, turn the burner up to high and whisk quickly until it thickens.
Cornstarch Method – Start with the drippings in the sauce pan, turn to high and bring to a boil, in a coffee cup, place 2 table spoons of cornstarch, add a quarter cup of water, it should be a thick mixture. Mix well and while whisking the drippings, pour the cornstarch mixture in all at once, then shut off the burner, or take the pan off the heat before your gravy turns into a solid!
Heat the duck meat up quickly in the microwave (I heat up only what we will eat that night).
Serve with the gravy and nicely roasted and garlicky potatoes. I like to have a fresh salad or peas, something green to go with, it looks nice on the plate. Tea biscuits are lovely to soak up the gravy.
If you have never had duck, it is so full of flavour, the meat is darker, but you will enjoy it. Just by adding salt and pepper during the roasting process, you will bring out a wonderful, natural flavour in the meat.
We had this for supper recently and I cannot tell you how wonderful it was. I hope you enjoy.
The left over duck can be made into a casserole with pasta, or add some spicy sausage, green onions, bread and cranberries and the remaining gravy to make a duck pudding casserole, or just re-heat in the gravy. Enjoy!
Take Care, and Care about what’s on your fork, we do!