Four Seasons Duck

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 4 hr 14 min
  • Prep: 1 hr
  • Inactive: 4 min
  • Cook: 3 hr 10 min
  • Yield: 2 to 4 servings
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2 oranges

1 (6 to 7-pound) duck

1-ounce fresh ginger, about 1-inch

1 cup soy sauce

1/2 orange, zested

2 cloves garlic, halved

2 tablespoons honey

1 1/2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns

Green Peppercorn Sauce, recipe follows

Orange Sauce, recipe follows

Sauteed Vegetables, recipe follows

Green Peppercorn Sauce:

1 cup dry red wine

2 shallots, finely chopped

1 tablespoon green peppercorns in brine, drained and crushed

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon brandy

1/2 cup Basic Duck Sauce, recipe follows

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Orange Sauce:

1 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons orange Marmalade

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1/2 cup Basic Duck Sauce, recipe follows

Coarse salt

Freshly ground pepper

Basic Duck Sauce:

Reserved duck neck, wings, and giblets from 1 (6 to 7-pound) duck

3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped

1 carrot, peeled, coarsely chopped

1 onion, skin on, coarsely chopped

2 cups dry red wine

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

2 cups homemade or low sodium canned chicken stock

Sauteed Vegetables:

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

2 small carrots, peeled, halved crosswise and lengthwise

1 baby turnip, trimmed, halved

1 small yellow beet, ends trimmed, peeled, and cut into quarters

1 small purple potato, washed, and cut into quarters

1 bunch ramps, trimmed, reserving 2 leaves

5 to 7 fiddlehead ferns, washed, and ends trimmed

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter


  1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from half of 1 orange. Cut the zest into long thin strips; set aside. Cut the skin and pith away from the remaining 1 1/2 oranges. Using a paring knife, carefully cut sections from oranges. Set aside for garnish.
  2. Rinse duck well under cold water. Pat dry with paper towel. Remove giblets from cavity and reserve for sauce. Cut off wings and ankle joints. Set aside for sauce. Remove excess fat from the tail cavity and discard. Cut off excess skin from neck and discard. Using a paring knife, make small 1/4-inch-deep incisions on the back of the duck. This will allow for the fat to render during cooking.
  3. Hang duck in refrigerator or place on top of wire rack set over a baking sheet for 3 days to dry out the skin.
  4. Peel ginger and cut into thin rounds. Combine ginger, soy sauce, orange zest, garlic, honey, and peppercorns in a medium bowl. Stir to combine. Let stand overnight, refrigerated, and strain through a fine sieve pressing with the back of a wooden spoon to extract all of the liquid. Using a wooden spoon, press solids to remove all of the liquid.
  5. Remove duck from refrigerator and place breast side up in a large shallow pan. Brush duck with half the marinade. Let stand for 20 minutes. Rub duck all over with remaining marinade. Transfer duck to refrigerator and let stand overnight.
  6. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Fill a roasting pan with 1/4-inch of water and place on lowest oven rack. (This will create steam and will catch fat as it is released from the duck during cooking.) Arrange oven rack in center of oven. Place duck directly on rack and roast until dark brown and slightly puffed, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove from oven. Let rest 20 minutes before carving. Serve with peppercorn and orange sauces on the side and the vegetables. Garnish with orange sections.

Green Peppercorn Sauce:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine red wine and shallots. Cook over medium-high heat until liquid has almost disappeared, 5 to 7 minutes. Just before the sauce has finished reducing, add the peppercorns. Reduce heat to low, add heavy cream, brandy, and duck sauce. Stir to combine, and heat through. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Yield: about 1 cup

Orange Sauce:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine orange juice, marmalade, Grand Marnier and vinegar. Cook over medium heat until reduced by half, 8 to 10 minutes. Add duck sauce. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Yield: 1 1/3 cups

Basic Duck Sauce:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large roasting pan, combine the neck, wings, giblets, celery, carrot, and onion. Transfer to oven and roast until deep brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Transfer neck, wings, giblets, and vegetables to a medium saucepan.
  2. Place roasting pan on stove over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup wine and deglaze pan, stirring with a wooden spoon to release and browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
  3. Add tomato paste to saucepan with vegetable mixture. Cook over medium heat until paste begins to color, 45 to 60 seconds. Add flour, and cook, stirring constantly to cook the flour, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 cup wine.
  4. Add deglazing liquid and browned bits from roasting pan. Add chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until the liquid has reduced by half, 35 to 40 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl, discarding solids. There should be about 1 cup of sauce.
  5. Yield: 1 cup

Sauteed Vegetables:

  1. Bring a large stockpot of salted water to a boil. Add carrots, turnip, and beet, and cook until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add potato, ramp bulbs, and fiddleheads and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. In medium saute pan, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat until butter melts. Using a slotted spoon, remove vegetables from stockpot transfer to saute pan. Cook until barely golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Julienne reserved ramp leaves, and stir in. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
  3. Yield: 2 to 4 servings