Growing up, roasted duck was such a treat for our family! Whenever we would stay late at church, we'd test our luck and ask our parents if it would be okay to have roasted duck that night. If luck was with us, we'd drive around roaming the streets of the international district to see which Chinese BBQ joints still had ducks hanging thru their windows. It was the Asian kid's version of 'Where's Waldo', cept, we were looking for Mr. Clucky, our dinner for the night! 🙂
Making roasted duck is not as daunting of a task as I thought it would be. In fact, anyone can achieve a nice roasted duck with just a bit of patience. Preparation of the duck is what really ensures a solid roasted duck. I've broken it down below, but overall, duck is pretty forgiving when being roasted so take liberties to change up the seasonings to suit your taste preference!
What You'll Need:
Preparing the duck:
- Clean your duck thoroughly including the cavity of the duck.
- Using your fingers/hands, gently separate the skin of the duck from its meat. Start from the opening of the cavity and work your way up. Be careful not to break the skin. You want to work your way around the breast and legs. (Why does this sound so sexual..)
Separating the skin from the flesh allows the fat to render much easier when you roast and it'll help you get that nice golden brown finish on the skin we all like to eat.
Usually pro restaurants have an air compressor they can insert between the skin and flesh with a towel placed around the air compressor to seal off and inflate the skin off the flesh. I however, am not bougie enough to have an air compressor handy dandy in my kitchen or anywhere on my property so this is the way I do it.
- Dry the duck as best as you can and salt the skin.
- Let the duck chill in your fridge uncovered to really dry out the skin. It'll help with the crisping of the skin later. I like to place my duck on lots of napkins or a rack to make sure it doesn't just sit in ducky water. 🙂
- Make your marinade. Mince your ingredients and combine over low heat until you have a nice marinade suited to your taste preference. I leave it a bit salty since this is what I use to infuse my duck with whilst roasting.
- Once your patience has had enough, remove the duck from the fridge and pour in the cooled down marinade into the cavity. Sew this up. If you're fancy, you probably have that kitchen twine stuff and a needle to help you do this. If you're a little ghetto like me, take a skewer or toothpicks and do the stitching that way. It works too 🙂
- Pour hot water all over the skin of the duck until the skin tightens up. Or you can submerge your duck in a pot of hot water for a few minutes until the skin is all nice, plump, and taut. I don't like washing more pots, so I just slowly pour the hot boiling water over the skin.
- While letting your duck dry once more, create your glaze. Combine maltose, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and a pinch of salt with some water over low heat until syrupy. Brush this onto your duck not once, but twice after your ducks all nice and dried.
- Roast your duck at 350 degrees on a rack for around 45-60 minutes (dependent on duck size) or until internal temp reaches ~175 degrees. Cover your duck with foil if it looks like its getting too dark. I like to flip my bird twice. Once halfway and then once when I'm 5-10 minutes from being done to really make sure I got that nice brown crisp on the breast side.
- Optional: Pour hot oil all over the skin before serving to crisp up the skin. Otherwise, let the duck rest, open the cavity to release the marinade, chop, and serve!