If you’ve only had oven-roasted duck, this recipe just may change your whole opinion of the bird. It comes out so crisp and delicious, with a deeply brown, burnished skin, it’s almost like Chinese roast duck. But to render the fat, you really have to prick the skin all over—fifty times, in fact. Count ‘em!–Mario Batali
LC 50 Times Note
It seems 50 isn’t just the number of times one ought to brush one’s hair at night or the number of sheep one may count before becoming even remotely sleepy. It’s also the number of times one must pierce the skin of a duck prior to roasting. We’re not about to argue with any logic that turns out duck skin this crisp.
Spit-Roasted Duck Recipe
Hands-On Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 2 hours, not including resting | Serves 4
- 1/2 cup orange marmalade
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
- One 4 to 4 1/2 pound duck
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1. Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for rotisserie cooking over indirect medium heat (or according to the instructions for your grill). Place the drip pan under the center of the spit.
- 2. In a small saucepan, combine the marmalade, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and rosemary and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Pour 1/4 cup of the sauce into a small bowl to use for basting the duck, and pour the rest into a small serving bowl for passing at the table.
- 3. Meanwhile, remove all the excess fat from the duck. Wash the duck and dry it thoroughly both inside and out with paper towels. With a sharp metal skewer, prick the duck skin all over, especially the thighs, 50 times. Season the duck inside and out with salt and pepper to taste. Tie the legs together and brush the duck all over with a light coating of the orange-marmalade mixture.
- 4. Place the duck on the spit and secure it with the clamps. Attach it to the rotisserie mechanism, cover the grill, and cook until the temperature in the thickest part of the thigh reaches 160°F (71°C), 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 hours, depending on the heat of your grill. About 15 minutes before the duck is done, brush it all over again with more of the orange sauce. When the duck is done, transfer it to a cutting board and let rest for 15 minutes.
- 5. Carve the duck and pass the remaining orange sauce on the side.
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Spit-Roasted Duck Recipe © 2008 Mario Batali and Judith Sutton. Photo © 2008 Beatriz da Costa. All rights reserved.