Whole Roast Duck with Caramel Vinegar
Updated: Aug 16, 2019
This whole roast duck is a play on Duck A L'Orange, Asian style! But seriously, why do I always have to Asianify everything?! Simple, yet impressive, roasting a duck is the same as roasting a chicken but with so much more flavour. Wait until they go on half price special at Coles or Woolies and give it a go!
I love duck, my boys love duck, my husband loves duck. Wow that might sound rude if you say it quickly! And I mean, what's not to like? You have the fatty richness, tender brown meat and glistening crispy skin that is SO indulgent. Well, I have heard about people who don't like fatty foods, but I don't need that kind of negativity in my life #cleaneating. Duck seems to have this reputation of being fancy and hard to cook, but in this recipe you just roast it like any other bird. Its funny how times change, my mum tells about her childhood growing up in Thailand where eating duck meat and duck eggs were the norm, and whenever they ate chicken or chicken eggs, now that was considered fancy and a special occasion!
“I've been thinking about what my signature dish is. I don't know that I have one (maybe it's my Thai BBQ Fish), but what I cook most often is a roast. I joke that I can roast any beast. And it is kind of true, I love how easily I can throw a big hunk of meat into the oven with some flavourings and forget about it. A quick sauce or gravy when it comes out and it seems so impressive but really, the oven has done all the work for me.”
This duck is served with a caramel vinegar, made with orange and optional chilli and goes really nicely with steamed Asian greens like bok choy or Chinese broccoli. I simply steam these and don't add any sauce or dressing because the meat and the sauce are already quite rich. If I'm serving this mid-week I go carb-less: cauliflower rice. On the weekend, it's real rice baby! Oh, and don't forget to save the duck carcass to make soup (I just put it in a large zip bag together with my vegetable scraps and throw it in the freezer), and the duck fat in the bottom of the roasting dish to make duck fat potatoes.
Whole Roast Duck with Caramel Vinegar adapted from a Bill Granger recipe
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes + resting time
Serves: 3 Adults or 2 adults 2 kids with sides
2kg Whole Duck
1/2 Cup of Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
2 Star Anise
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 Cup Chicken Stock
1 Chilli, chopped (optional)
Step 1- Take one of the oranges, and using a vegetable peeler, peel the rind off in long strips and set aside making sure not to get the bitter white pith. Cut both oranges in half and juice both of them, setting aside the juice. You should be left with 2 pieces of carcass of one orange without any juice or rind, throw these away; and 2 pieces of carcass of the other orange with the rind remaining, take these and insert them into the cavity of the duck, making sure to leave space so the air can circulate.
Step 2- Rub the skin with vegetable oil and generously salt, placing on a roasting tray with a rack. Roast in a 190c oven for 40 minutes per kilo. In this recipe, that equates to 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Step 3- Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 20 minutes. You can use this time to make the caramel vinegar.
Step 4- Place the sugar, vinegar, star anise and cinnamon stick in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
Step 5- Add the chicken stock, reserved orange juice and rind, and chilli if using. Bring to the boil and simmer until reduced to a syrupy consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 6- Carve the duck and serve with the sauce. This goes nicely with rice and steamed Asian greens.