Slow-roasted Whole Duck in Spiced Ginger Cranberry sauce

This recipe is the perfect one you were looking for if you wanted to surprise your family and friends with a lovely dinner. It’s one of my personal favourite recipes and though little tedious the results are just out of the world. The meat is so tender, juicy and the bird comes out crispy from the oven ready to be drenched in an awesome brown sauce..
 
How I developed this recipe-
 
I love duck meat unlike many. Because I’ve found that it’s much more flavourful than any other poultry like chicken/turkey.etc, ‘IF’ cooked the right way at the right temperatures. Whole roasted duck isn’t an as commonly eaten bird as the overrated classic English chicken/turkey roast. And the above could be the main reason for this.
 
Since my childhood I loved my mom’s spicy duck roast with caramelised onions and I believed no other duck dishes could beat that. But believe me.. this one almost did-mom agreed! 
When you find that it’s quite an English recipe, you may think it’s less flavourful but it’s not. After lot of references and trials I have incorporated more flavours into this dish -tangy, spicy, lil’ sweet & that umami from the charred duck skin! It’s the ultimate duck recipe you’ll ever wanna prepare and so just go for this delectably rich birdy..
 
What’s special about this recipe-
 
. Perfectly oven-roast duck— As I had mentioned above, the slow-roasting technique used in this recipe will never leave you disappointed. Cooking the duck with right temperature adjustments, patiently, renders a lovely browned crispy skin on the outside and juicy meat inside.
 
. Spices & herbs— Though not too spicy, i have added a few spices such as cloves, cardamom, fennel, pepper, bay leaves and herbs such as thyme & parsley in minimal amounts to create the sauce that’s packed with full of flavour and compliments your ducky beautifully.
 
. Cranberry, orange zest and ginger— These are not only rich in antioxidants and micronutrients, but also gives this dish it’s unique flavour and taste.
 
. Special brown sauce— Its made using a brown stock that’s made from browning the duck left-overs and cooking it along with veggies in chicken stock and later reducing it down adding spices, vinegar, booze and condiments..worth drooling for!
 
What you’ll need—
 
 
. 1 Whole duck (with skin-on)-quite big enough!
 
For marinade-
. 1 teaspoon paprika 
. 4 cloves of crushed garlic
. 2 tablespoons of orange zest
. 1 teaspoon grated ginger
. 1 teaspoon pepper
. A handful of fresh herbs 
. 3 shallots, finely chopped 
. Olive oil
. Salt 
 
For brown duck stock-
 
. Duck leftovers (wing & fat trimmings, gizzards..) – of 1 bird, cut into 1 inch pieces 
. 1 big carrot, chopped into 1 inch pieces 
. 1 celery, chopped into 1 inch pieces
. 1 sprig thyme 
. Half teaspoon pepper
. 1 big bay leaf
. Olive oil
. 4 cups chicken stock
. 5 cloves crushed garlic
. Salt 
 
For spiced ginger cranberry sauce-
 
. 1 cup cranberries 
. Half tablespoon orange zest
. 1 tablespoon minced garlic
. Half tablespoon grated ginger
. 1 star anise
. 1/4 teaspoon fennel
. 2 cardamom pods
. 5 cloves
. 1.5 tablespoons brown sugar 
. 0.25 cup balsamic vinegar 
. 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 
. O.25 cups red wine (dry)
. Parsley
. 1.5 tablespoons cornflour 
. 2 tablespoons butter/olive oil
. Salt
 
For roasted onions & crispy potatoes-
 
.  4 small floury potatoes cut chunky with skin-on
. 7 shallots, peeled and halved
. 2 big red onions, peeled and cut into big rings
. 0.25 teaspoon oregano 
. Half teaspoon red chilli flakes 
. 0.25 teaspoon paprika 
. Half tablespoon all-purpose flour 
. Half tablespoon cornstarch 
. A pinch of baking powder 
. 0.25 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds 
. Salt to taste 
. 1 tablespoon strained fat that dripped onto the tray on oven-roasting the duck
. Fat from top of cold brown stock 
 
How to make—
 
For the brown stock-
  • Heat oil in a pan and brown the leftovers/trimmings.
  • Then add the spices, thyme and veggies into it with little salt and sauté well.
  • Now pour in the stock and cook slightly covered, simmer on low flame for around 2 hours.
  • Strain the stock when cool & reserve the liquid.
 
For Oven-roasting duck-
 
  • Preheat the oven to 250 degree Celsius.
  • Wash your duck in water mixed with a tablespoon of vinegar, scrubbing with coarse salt to remove the scum.
  • Drain and towel dry your bird before marinating.
  • Marínate with the ingredients listed above -for marinade.
  • Place the marinated duck onto a metal rack above a baking tray, so that the melting fat and juices which is to be used later, would ooze out onto the tray.
  • Heat for 15 mins with the breast side up under this high temperature. Then as you find your duck has browned well on top with a beautiful crispy skin, flip it onto the other side and bake for 30 mins at 200 degrees Celsius, then flip it again and bake for another 30mins . Finally flip it one more time and bake for 20-30 minutes.
  • During the time your duck is inside the oven, you could prepare the sauce.
 
For the sauce-
  • Caramelize a mixture of brown sugar, balsamic vinegar & red wine vinegar.
  • Thin it out by adding the brown stock little by little.
  • When it starts to boil, add the spices, cranberries, ginger, rest of the zest & garlic.
  • Cook for 10 minutes uncovered on low & mash up the berries.
  • Add the red wine into the boiling mixture.
  • Strain it out and reserve the liquid.
  • Mix cornflour in 2-3 tablespoon of cooled down liquid and add gradually into the entire reserve little by little.
  • Heat the above in a saucepan, stirring continuously until it reaches the right thickened saucy consistency & turn-off the heat.
  • Add the butter/olive oil to add to the glaze.
 
For roasted onions-
  • In an oven-proof roasting pan, spread the onions and mix it with the stock fat, salt and a bit of pepper.
  • Take out your bird from the oven when done and cover it with an aluminium foil for 30 minutes.
  • Place your onion-containing roasting pan into the oven (at 200 degree Celsius) and roast for about 8-12 minutes, until charred a bit.
 
For crispy potatoes-
  • Into a small bowl, mix-in the rest of the ingredients listed under-‘for roasted onions & crispy potatoes’ on the ingredients list , and pour it over the potatoes mixing well.
  • Air fry/ roast it in a preheated air-fryer/oven for 5-8 minutes at 180 degree Celsius first and then at 200 degree Celsius for 10-11 minutes.
 
Assembling
  • Place the duck onto a hot wide-open serving platter and put the roasted onions all-over.
  • Pour the hot spiced cranberry ginger sauce all over it and place crispy potatoes on sides.
  • Sprinkle chopped parsley and finely chopped ginger on top of the duck. Bon appetit!
 
Notes, Tips & Suggestions-
  • It’s always better to rest your roasted/grilled meat for minimum 15-30 minutes depending of the type of meat, before cutting. So never skip this step if your want your bird to be tender & juicy.
  • You could add more paprika while marinating or more pepper in your stock, if you want your duck to be more spicy.
  • It’s recommended to serve this dish with a glass of your favourite red wine to enjoy the most of it.

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