Roast Duck

Total Time:
1 hr 35 min
15 min
20 min
1 hr

4 to 6 servings

  • 2 (5 to 5 1/2 pounds each) ducks, innards and wing tips removed
  • 6 quarts chicken broth
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Unwrap the ducks and allow them to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. With a fork, prick the skin without piercing the meat. This will allow the fat to drain off while the ducks cook.

Meanwhile, in a very large stock pot which can hold the 2 ducks, heat the chicken broth with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt until it boils. Add the ducks very carefully and bring the stock back to a boil. If there isn't enough stock to cover the ducks, add the hottest tap water to cover. If the ducks float to the top, place a plate on top to keep them immersed. When the stock comes back to a boil, lower the heat and simmer the ducks in the stock for 45 minutes.

When the ducks are finished simmering, skim off enough duck fat from the top of the stock to pour a film on the bottom of a 14 by 18 by 3-inch roasting pan. This will keep the ducks from sticking when they roast. Carefully take the ducks out of the stock, holding them over the pot to drain. Place them in the roasting pan, pat the skin dry with paper towels, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt and the pepper. If you have time, allow the ducks to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow the skin to dry.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. (Be sure your oven is very clean or it will smoke!) Roast the ducks for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow them to rest, covered with aluminum foil, for 20 minutes. Serve warm.

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4.6 63
This was not my first time cooking duck, and not my favorite recipe. Since it has such great reviews, I'll probably try it again another day, but my result was amateurish. I should mention that I cooked 1 duck instead of 2 because I was cooking for only two people, and because I sent my co-diner to buy the ingredients, the duck arrived frozen on the inside. I had to defrost Donald in the microwave. I then boiled stock while scoring skin, added Donald to the pot, and cooked as instructed from that point on. My roasting pan is very big (>16") because I use it for my annual turducken (25-30-lb monster). I didn't think this would be an issue for the (6.8-lb) duck, but maybe it was. I dried his skin, salted him, let rest, and roasted at 500, checking on his temp periodically in case the 2-bird cook time was too long. When Donald's thighs passed 165 degrees, I pulled him out. His skin was not crispy enough for my taste. I'll try another day with 2 ducks & see how it goes. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was my first time cooking duck -- it came out wonderful. Crispy on the outside, moist and delicious on the inside. My guests were very pleased. Will make again! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this recipe for my company for New Years and had never cooked duck before. Boiling the 2 ducks were awesome since my meal was not at all greasy. Prior to boiling I prepared 1 quart of the chicken broth with onion, carrots,an apple, onion and the 2 duck necks to make the broth more flavorful and strained out the juice. Then combined it with the other 5 quarts of broth as the recipe said. My oven wasn't super clean but I used a broiler pan and set it 2 racks from the bottom in my oven. No smoke occurred. I did encounter one problem, my duck was tough and I discovered it needed more cooking than the 30 min at the 500 degree oven and the prior boiling time. The ducks browned beautifully in the oven and the skin was crisp, however I had to cook the duck at 350 for approximately 35- 40 minutes more after I served it to my company. Great taste with the salt and pepper. Would make again item not reviewed by moderator and published
Came out great. Smoked up quite a lot even with a spotless oven. I suggest putting very little if any fat in the pan. That is what I think was causing most of the smoke. Everyone liked it. It's an easy recipe. Would do again. The.boiling part sounds weird but works. Not at all dry . skin was crispy good. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Easy and delicious! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I loved this recipe Ina. The Duck was perfect. Happy Holidays item not reviewed by moderator and published
Perfection! That's what this is. My brothers and sisters swore off duck after a former sister-in-law served greasy, fatty, undercooked duck to them at a family gathering 20 years ago. A week ago while having dinner with colleagues, one of them told me about Ina's recipe. She said that this was the only recipe for which she has ever written a review. So when I found fresh duck in our local grocery, I knew I had to try this recipe. I only made one duck and cut the liquid in half. I think the key is patting the duck dry to get that extra bit of fat out of the skin before roasting. The outside was crispy and browned to perfection (I added a bit of paprika) and the inside was tender and moist, but not greasy. Ina, my brothers and sisters are now fans! Thanks for another great recipe! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Duck was overdone and chewey. Plus roasting at that high temp smoked up the house (and it was the duck not the oven, I cook my pizza at 500 all the time) item not reviewed by moderator and published
Tried last night with three ducks. Used turkey frier to boil, since no other pot would work. Several advantages... much higher heat so boils quickly and heat is outside house. Since I let get to room temperature before putting in oven, think I should have cooked the day before. Served with sauce from Robert Irvine's recipe for duck and berry sauce but used frozen red cherries. Actually pretty easy and delicious. item not reviewed by moderator and published
good but, you know, hot tap water is not drinkable (?!). item not reviewed by moderator and published
You need to just heat up the cold tap water. Tap water is drinkable at cold temperatures. item not reviewed by moderator and published

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