Prep 10 mins
Cook 2 hrs
- kosher salt or sea salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- 1 (4 lb) duck, rinsed, dried, and cut in half
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 4 garlic cloves, skin left on and lightly crushed
- Salt and pepper the duck liberally on both sides.
- Place each half, skin side down, in a large, heavy-bottomed (preferably cast-iron) pan.
- Wedge the thyme and garlic under the skin.
- Cover the pan with its lid or with foil, and place it over low heat.
- Braise for one hour (duck should crackle and sizzle gently; skin should be golden and crisp; most fat should be rendered).
- Turn duck.
- Cover pan.
- Braise for another hour, until duck bottom is well browned and meat is quite tender.
- Remove duck to a cutting board; with a poultry shear, halve the halves.
- Place two tablespoons of the reserved fat from the pan into a clean saute pan, and heat the pan to medium high.
- Place duck pieces skin side down, and saute for 3 to 5 minutes, just until skin turns crisp and dark.
- Transfer to a dish.