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Prep1 hr 30 mins
Cook2 hrs 30 mins
This is a lush recipe for duck. It tastes very "french", and despite the honey glaze, it isn't too sweet. The lavender or herbes de provence make a nice counterpoint to the flavors. The pan juice is perfect served alongside the duck, to drizzle over the meat at the table. Adapted from epicurious.com
- 4 teaspoons packed fresh lavender blossoms (use the same proportions of herbes de provence, if you can't find lavender) or 3 teaspoons dried lavender flowers (use the same proportions of herbes de provence, if you can't find lavender)
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leave
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon whole black peppercorn
- 1 (5 1/2 lb) duck (thawed, if frozen)
- 1 cup canned low sodium chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons dry red wine
- 4 tablespoons honey (I use clover, but if you can find lavender or orange flower honey, it would add additional flavor)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, finely grind half of the lavender (or herbes de provence), thyme, sea salt, and peppercorns.
- Set aside the ground herb rub mix.
- Remove excess fat and skin from duck neck and inside cavity.
- Remove giblets (reserve liver only).
- Thoroughly rinse duck and pat dry with paper towels.
- With very sharp paring knife, carefully score duck breast in criss-cross pattern, making sure to cut through skin and fat only (do not cut into the flesh or"meat" of the duck).
- Rub herb mix into both inside the cavity and the outside of the duck.
- Place liver back into the prepared duck cavity.
- Put duck onto rack inside a roasting pan, breast side up and roast for 2 hours (do not baste during initial roasting).
- Remove duck from oven and increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Put the duck on a platter and carefully pour pan juices into large glass measuring cup.
- Spoon off all but about 1 tablespoon of the clear duck fat into a glass dish and refrigerate to use in other dishes as a sauté medium, for example.
- Pour pan juices and the 1 tablespoon of the duck fat back to the roasting pan and add the chicken broth and wine.
- Put duck back on the rack in the roasting pan and brush with about half of the honey.
- Roast the duck for about 20 minutes, basting at least once with the pan juice/broth/wine mixture.
- Remove the duck from the oven and brush with the rest of the honey, then sprinkle the duck about 1 teaspoon of the lavender or herbes de provence and return to the oven to roast about 5 minutes more.
- Depending on the size of the duck, it may take a bit longer; it is ready to remove from the oven when a meat thermometer inserted into the innermost duck thigh registers 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
- When duck is done, remove from the oven and put it on a platter to rest.
- Remove the liver from the duck cavity and mash finely in a small bowl to be used on crackers or small toasted baguette slices.
- Pour pan juices from the roaster into a saucepan, making sure to scrape up browned bits.
- Add the remaining lavender or herbes de provence to the saucepan, along with salt and pepper to taste and place over medium heat.
- Bring the juices to a boil, whisking often, and cook until the sauce is thickened and coats the back of a spoon.
- Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
- Transfer the sauce to a bowl and serve with sliced duck at the table.