roast duck with tangerine-cranberry glaze

So, this past thanksgiving I decided to cook a duck. I’ve never cooked one before, so I underwent a hurried investigation of various cooking blogs and came across a raging debate on how to prepare a duck. The combatants did not clearly fall into two camps, but several. To brine or not to brine. To prick the skin or not to prick. To roast or steam. Or roast, then steam. In a grand spirit of compromise, I settled on brine, prick, steam, then roast. Brining tenderizes and flavors the meat. Roasting gives that nice crispy finish to the skin. Pricking and steaming gets some of the copious amounts of fat out of the bird, which is lipid gold in most culinary opinions. I used the drippings to cook turnip greens, make gravy and even start the stock I made from the carcass after the meal. The stock then went with a white reduction into a spinach, chevre and pinenut risotto I made a few days later. What the hey, I only cook a warm blooded creature in my kitchen once a year. Might as well get every last drop!

1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup sweet soy sauce
2 quarts water
1 can cranberry sauce
juice and finely grated peel of 1 clementine or blood orange
3/4 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp brown mustard
2 tsp corn starch
2 tsp Vegeta
1 bunch turnip greens
1 duck, 4-5 lbs

Brine Duck over night in food grade plastic container.

In a small bowl, combine 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper. Sprinkle it into the cavity and over the surface of the duck. Prick the duck all over with a fork, trying to break only the skin, not pierce the flesh. Stuff duck with root veggies, garlic and onions.

Make a simple steamer by placing a few ramekins in a dutch oven. Have ready a wire rack placed inside a roasting pan. Cook turnip greens in some of the drippings, use the rest to make gravy.

Place the duck, breast side up, in the steamer you’ve created. Pour about 1 inch of water into the pot, cover the pan tightly and steam over medium heat for 1 hour. The skin should be tender.

Stir starch into wine in sauce pan until no lumps, add orange, sugar, garlic. Bring to boil and reduce by half on simmer. Add remaining ingredients (other than greens and duck) and simmer until thickened.

Preheat oven to 400, roast duck ~45 mins, basting every 15 min with 2/3 of prepared glaze. Skin should be dark mahogany and thickest part of thigh should be 180 degrees. After removing, apply rest of glaze, cover with foil and let sit 10 min before carving.


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