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This technique for preparing your holiday duck eliminates much of the fat just under the skin. If you prefer your duck more rich and fatty, eliminate the 24-hour air drying. The sauce is also suitable for roast pork, venison, or goose. Courtesy of Earthbound Farms Organic.
- 1 (5 lb) duck (Long Island duck preferred)
- kosher salt or sea salt
- 1 cup red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon)
- 1⁄2 cup beef stock
- 1⁄2 cup dried tart cherry
- 1⁄3 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 6 green cardamom pods (lightly crushed)
- 1 cinnamon stick, about 3 inches long (broken)
- 6 whole cloves
- 20 whole black peppercorns
- 1⁄4 cup orange juice (fresh is best)
- 1 tablespoon cherry jam or 1 tablespoon currant jelly
- 1 orange, grated zest of
- 2 tablespoons port wine (optional)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch or 1 tablespoon arrowroot
- Wash the duck in cold water and discard any loose fat or skin. (Save the fat for another use).
- Place the duck in a roasting pan.
- Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil and pour the water over the duck, making sure entire bird is covered.
- Drain completely.
- Place the duck on a rack in a roasting pan.
- Generously sprinkle all sides of the duck with salt.
- Refrigerate, uncovered, for 24 hours.
- Move oven rack to lower third of the oven and preheat to 450°F.
- Rinse the duck well with cold water to remove the salt.
- With a small, sharp implement, carefully prick the fatty sections of the duck's skin (take care to pierce only the fatty layer, not the flesh underneath).
- Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil and pour over the duck, covering completely.
- Drain completely.
- Wipe out your roasting pan and spray with cooking spray.
- Set the duck on a rack in prepared roasting pan, breast side up, and cook 30 minutes.
- Reduce the temperature to 375F and roast until a leg moves easily in its socket and the juices from the cavity run almost clear, about an hour or until an instant-read thermometer registers 180F when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh.
- Let the duck rest, loosely covered with foil, at least 15 minutes before carving.
- While the duck is resting, make the sauce: combine the first three ingredients in a small pan and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half, about 10 minutes; set to the side.
- Combine the next six ingredients together in another small pan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
- Cook until the mixture turns syrupy and begins to caramelize, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
- Add the orange juice and jam or jelly, and cook until the mixture bubbles.
- Strain the contents of the small pan into the wine and cherry mixture, discarding any solids.
- Add the orange zest and return sauce to a simmer over low heat.
- Mix the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water in a small jar and shake until smooth.
- Add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce and cook, stirring frequently, until it thickens, about 5 minutes. Slice duck and serve with sauce.