Many people, when they think of duck, think only of roast duck. In reality there are so many interesting ways to prepare duck that, with the real connoisseurs, roast duck often takes a a back seat. For instance, steamed or boiled duck may be attractively combined with vegetables in Chinese-style recipes. Or duck may be braised and served with any one of a number of delicious sauces. But, personally I always come back to roasting the duck, with different herbs, spices, fruits and grains. Here is a recipe I created for upcoming holidays – roasted duck, with ginger and sweet honey, stuffed with lemons. I served it with fried pan buttery quince and few fermented and pickled vegetables. If you looking to cook something different for Christmas I hope you will try my recipe for simple roasted duck.
Back in Russia my mom often cooked roast duck for the holidays. I remember the aroma in our tiny kitchen when duck stuffed with apples has been served with buckwheat or sauerkraut after being roasted for a long time. I did not like it as much then as I love it today. But this also brings me a lot of joy to remember our long holiday preparations and cooking of dishes for our Christmas and New Year table.
Roasted Lemony Duck with Buttery Quince
Few people know the delicacy and flavor of cooked quince, and they are brilliant in bouquet both cooked and raw. Cut quince into sections and bake or pan fry, they make a nice change from other fruit dishes.
- 4-pound ready-to-cook duck
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- lemon juice from 2 lemons (save lemon skins)
- 1 Tbsp. minced ginger
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup butter, cubed
- 4-5 medium unpeeled quince, sliced
- 1/2 cup sugar, divided
- 3/4 tsp ground cardamom
Remove giblets from duck and wash. Push back skin around neck of duck and cut the neck off. Cut off wing tips and remove pinfeathers with tweezers (if any). Remove excess fat. Wash the duck thoroughly, inside and out, with cold water. Dry carefully with paper towels. Rub the inside and outside lightly with salt and pepper. In the small bowl combine lemon juice, honey, ginger. Pour some of the sauce into duck cavity. Rub the outside of duck with rest of the sauce. Stuff the duck with left over lemons from juicing. Place the duck on a rack, breast-side up, in a roasting pan. Let it marinate for an hour or overnight in the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 325F.
Roast for about 2 hours or until duck is done, basting at 20-minutes intervals with sauce and fat. For a crisper brown skin roast a duck for about 30 minutes longer.
In the meantime, melt the butter in a large skillet. Add quince slices and half of the sugar; stir to mix well. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes or until quince are tender. Add cardamom and remaining sugar. Cook and stir over medium-high heat for 10 minutes.
Remove duck from the roasting pan to a serving dish and place it with quince around the duck. Save delicious duck fat for other cookery. Serve the roasted duck with pickles, mushrooms and fermented cabbage.