A roast chicken is classic, a roast beef is homey, but something about a roast duck just screams FANCY. I suppose it’s true that duck is more of a rarity. It’s pricey, sure, but there is something about it that’s innately intimidating.
Not sure why…it’s just another bird that poops all over your lawn…but maybe it’s all those old movies with rich English people sitting at a grand table carving up a lovely roast duck or goose that makes us feel like we’re not worthy.
But that’s totally OK. We WANT people to feel that way. No one has to know how ridiculously easy it is to roast the perfect duck. Tender, succulent, crispy skinned duck.
Ever hear of “Engagement Chicken?” It’s just a roast chicken…somewhere, someone figured out that if you can roast a chicken all by yourself, then that meant you were good enough to put a ring on it. But duck? Um, if we’re playing by those rules, we can probably call this “Marry Now And Burn The Pre-Nup” Duck. Or, if marriage isn’t your thing, “Buy Me A High Rise Condo in New York” Duck.
Or, in my case, “Please Pay My Med School Tuition” Duck.
If you’ve ever roasted a chicken, you can roast a duck. If you’ve never roasted a chicken, you can still roast a duck. Promise.
The only challenging part of this whole ordeal is finding a duck. I will admit that it’s like a wild goose chase (ha!) sometimes since a lot of grocery stores seem to shove them back behind all kinds of other stuff. My Kroger has them in with the spiral ham. I don’t even know.
Ready? Let’s take a deep breath, gather all FIVE ingredients, and prepare to amaze.
Sweet, tangy, succulent roasted duck.
- 1 duck (approx 4-5 pounds)
- 2 whole oranges
- about 1-2 T olive oil
- 1-2 T dried rosemary
- salt and pepper to taste
- a few sprigs of fresh rosemary, for garnish
- Thaw your duck (if necessary), and remove giblets. If it comes with a sauce pack, toss that, too.
- Rinse the duck with water and pat dry with paper towels.
- Let the duck sit at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes. This is really important, as to prevent under-cooking the inside.
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
- pour the olive oil over the duck and give it a good rub-down. Make sure every bit of the skin has a little oil, but also that it's not too greasy.
- Place the duck, back down, into a large roasting pan or baking dish.
- Cut one of the oranges into quarters and place inside the cavity. If using any fresh rosemary, add that into the cavity as well.
- Cut the other orange in half. Squeeze the juice of one half over the duck. Cut the other half in slices and lay over the top.
- Add salt and pepper to taste (you really don't need a lot!).
- Roast for 90 minutes. If desired, you can remove from the oven every 20-30 minutes to baste with drippings.