This Balsamic Cherry Glazed Roasted Duck is literally to die for! It is moist and tender and not a bit fatty, which duck tends to be.
The first time I had whole duck was at least 15 years ago. A friend, who had been to culinary school and thought she was the best the chef on the planet (I was and am a better cook, just saying!), made it for Thanksgiving. Luckily we did Jamie Oliver’s (my idea) Thanksgiving turkey and dressing too (to this day one of my favorites), due to the fact that the duck was hideous!
Probably the fattiest thing I have ever eaten. When I saw a contest using duck, I thought, well maybe I can perfect that!
So, for the contest I did a Fuzzy Navel Grilled Whole Duck, yes, the glaze contains peach schnapps. Yum! Also, we did a wonderful Asian duck burger with peach sauce and grilled peaches, (and Chinese Rushan cheese!).
So I googled how to get it crispy for days. Finally decided how I would cook the duck to make it crispy, instead of a pile of grease. Since then my family has become “quack” addicts! (My husband’s goofy sense of humor! Probably nothing to joke about but I couldn’t resist!)
This is the Fuzzy Navel Grilled Duck. It was simply amazing! I’m not sure why I haven’t posted that one. I will soon. So much good food, so little time!
The Roasted Balsamic Cherry Grilled Duck
I honestly can’t decide which one I like better. They are both soooo good! The key to juicy but not fatty duck is to either poke holes (I did this for the fuzzy navel version) or to score the skin without piercing the meat (the Cherry Glazed version).
In addition to that first tip, the second tip is to cook it low and slow and flip the bird over every hour. Start with the breast side down in a roasting pan with a rack. After one hour, flip it so that it is breast side up. Do this two more times (a total of 4 hours).
You will end up with a beautifully crispy duck every time. I do this for grilling or roasting. When you are roasting, if enough fat accumulates in the bottom of the pan to touch the duck, drain some off. On the grill, you want to indirect grill it (turn off the burners directly underneath) otherwise you will get flare ups from the dripping fat.
Even the legs end up juicy and delicious. The first time I did them, I was worried that the legs were going to be dried out, not the case!
Now the reason I mentioned that the family is addicted, is that the next week we pan-seared these breasts with shallot, mushrooms, dill and a delicious demi glace gravy.
The husband actually did cute ‘mushrooms’ made out of baby potatoes and mushrooms caps. He is so funny! But, Yum! I’m drooling just thinking about them! Time to go out and buy more duck! This is another great savory use for cherries! Cherry BBQ Sauce
Duck is a good source of proteins, selenium, iron, zinc and B vitamins. Roasting the duck in this fashion, renders it much more healthy, due to the release of all of the fat underneath the skin! See here for the different ducks available.
I love this combination lasagna and roasting pan.
Due to my background in horticulture, I had several readers request a tutorial on Vegetable Gardening. To this end I have published a series of posts on the subject, packed full of information about how to get that big harvest by the end of the season! If you need help in this area, don’t miss my How to Start a Garden Series! The first part is Planning Your Garden!
Thanks for stopping by to check out the recipe for Balsamic Cherry Glazed Whole Duck! I hope you enjoy it! Let me know in the comments below if my method gave you the best duck you have eaten!
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Enjoy! And have fun cooking!
Balsamic Cherry Glazed Whole Duck
- 6 lb duck
- 1 large carrot , cut into large chunks
- 1 small onion , quartered
- 1 large stalk celery with tops , cut into large chunks
For the Stuffing
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 large shallot , diced
- 2 stalks celery , diced
- 3 c cornbread , crumbled
- 2 c crusty white or wheat bread , cubed
- 2 tsp fresh rosemary , chopped
- 1 tsp fresh dill , chopped
- 1/2 tsp dried sage
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1/4 c chicken stock or water. plus or minus
- 1/4 c dried apricots , chopped
- 1/4 c dried cherries
- 3/4 c cherry preserves
- 1/4 c balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary , chopped
- 1/8 tsp dried sage
- Wash and dry duck thoroughly, inside and out. Either poke wholes into the skin being careful not to pierce the skin or use a sharp knife to score the skin in a crisscross pattern. Place onion, celery and carrot in the cavity.
- Alternately, you can stuff the cavity. If you are using the stuffing to fill the cavity, you don't need the carrot, onion and celery. We like our stuffing crispy, so I make mini muffin cups, instead.
- Place on roasting pan that has a wire rack, breast side down.
- Bake at 300°F for one hour. Carefully remove the duck from the oven and flip it over so that it is breast side up. Bake again for another hour and repeat the process 2 more times, so that it cooks for the last hour breast side up. The last 45 minutes, or so brush with the cherry balsamic glaze.
- Let rest for at least 30 minutes before cutting.
- Soften the shallots and celery in olive oil in a small saute' pan. Add rosemary and sage and saute' just for a few more minutes.
- Place butter and water or stock in a separate small sauce pan. Bring to a boil then turn of heat, to melt the butter.
- Meanwhile, prepare bread and place in a large bowl.
- When the vegetables are soft, place them in with the bread.
- Place all the rest of the ingredients, except apricots and cherries, to the bowl with bread crumbs. I usually add 3/4 of the water or stock in and add enough more to make it desired wetness. You don't want it soggy, but evenly moist.
- Add apricots and cherries and just mix to combine.
- If you want to stuff the bird, do this first. If you are doing stuffing muffins, Spray two mini muffin tins with non stick spray. Fill with stuffing.
- Bake for about 40 minutes, the last hour the bird is in.
- Use to same pan you melted the butter in. Place all of the ingredients in the pan. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to very low, simmering for 30-60 minutes until thick.