Roast Duck With Apricot Glaze

"I love preparing duck, because nothing is wasted. Use the liver and make a deconstructed pate by sauteing shallot in butter; add the liver and mash, then add a little S&P. Served on baguette, this makes for an easy appetizer. After many less than optimal results with roasting duck, I finally learned that the secret to a really good crispy skin is boiling it before roasting. I also let it dry in the fridge for a couple of days before roasting. Save the broth, chill it, then skim off the fat that will rise to the surface and save for use in other recipes. Julia Child was right when she said, "Always save your duck fat." Once the broth is reduced, combine with veal stock, reduce more, & you will have a lovely sauce. The first time I boiled a duck, I didn't realize how out of control a hot slippery duck could be--sloshing hot greasy liquid all over my tiny kitchen. So the second time, I trussed the legs together, leaving the twine long, in order to have something to hold on to."
photo by French Terrine photo by French Terrine
photo by French Terrine
photo by French Terrine photo by French Terrine
photo by French Terrine photo by French Terrine
Ready In:
4hrs 30mins


  • 1 (5 lb) whole duck
  • 1 12 teaspoons quatre-epices
  • salt
  • 12 cup apricot jam
  • 2 cups veal stock


  • Boil duck for 30-45 minutes in enough water so that it is completely submerged.
  • Remove and blot dry inside and out with paper towels. Place in fridge for a couple of days to allow the skin to become very dry.
  • Refrigerate the lovely greasy duck broth. Once the fat has all risen to the top, skim it off and save to use in other recipes--like potatoes roasted with duck fat----YUM.
  • Reduce your duck broth, concentrating it down to 2--3 cups. Combine with veal stock and reduce down to another 2--3 cups. This will take several hours. If you wish to thicken it, make a little roux with some duck fat and some flour, slowly whisking some of the reduction, whisking continuously, allowing to boil gently. Then add the remainder of the reduction. Adjust your seasonings with salt and pepper.
  • Remove duck from fridge for an hour or so before roasting.
  • Preheat over to 400 degrees F.
  • Salt generously and dust with the quatre epices--see note below.
  • Roast breast side up for 90 minutes, spreading apricot jam on it for the last half hour.
  • Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes if you can wait that long.
  • Carve up and serve with the reduction/sauce.
  • **********************************************************************************.
  • Quater epices (meaning four spices) is a French spice blend, but it is also found in Middle Eastern kitchens. It is often used in terrines, fresh sausages, and pates. Add a heaping teaspoon to a pot of hearty stew for a surprising new depth. Here's an example of this versatile blend:

  • Combine 2 tablespoons white peppercorns, 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg,1/2 teaspoon (about 12) whole cloves, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger.
  • Grind up peppercorns and cloves, and combine with the rest. Store in cool, dark, dry place.

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