So, it has been almost 10 years since I roasted my first duck and posted about it. I thought it was time to update the post to include the changes I’ve made to my process since then.
This is a multi day process. But the result is worth it.
This is my method of roasting a duck where the meat is tender AND the skin in crispy. Stuffing the duck with sticky rice than sewing it shut seals the juices in, so the duck doesn’t dry out. Sticky rice is one of those ingredients where the addition of fat doesn’t make it sickeningly greasy, but instead makes it yummier.
One week before serving
- Make sure the duck is defrosted and the giblets removed.
- Set the giblets aside. It will be used to make duck broth for the stuffing.
- 1/4 cup sea salt
- 1/8 cup black peppercorn
- 1/8 cup sichuan peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon 5 spice.
Prepping the duck
- Grind the salt and peppercorns in a spice grinder (I use a coffee mill) until peppercorns are coarsely ground.
- Mix in the 5 spice powder.
- Take the duck and remove the giblets.
- Rinse it with cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
- Now is the time to remove any feathers and pull the excess fat out of the cavity and neck area. I freeze the extra fat and render it later.
- Take the duck and prick the skin all over with a sharp knife. Seriously, pretend the knife is a sewing machine and tap it all over the duck. This lets the fat dribble out when cooking. Some recipes say to score the skin. I find I cut too deeply and expose the meat, so I just poke it A LOT with a knife.
- Rub the duck all over with salt rub. You may want to use gloves. The Sichuan peppercorns will leave your hands feeling cool, numb, and tingly or a little while. It’s not unpleasant, but it’s weird.
- Now you can either hang the duck to dry in a cold place or, since I think that’s really messy. I place a glass jar upside down in a large bowl or pot. Then I sit the duck on the jar. (See picture)
- Place the duck in the refrigerator for at least 3 days. I usually leave it there for closer to a week. This lets the skin dry out and become crispy when it is roasted.
Two Days Before Serving
- Wash and soak 4 cups of sticky rice over night.
- Rinse the giblets.
- Take one bunch of scallions cut into matchsticks.
- Peel and smash about a 1″ chunk of ginger.
- Fill a pot with about 1 gallon of water and set on the stove on high.
- Add the giblets, scallions, & ginger.
- When the water boils, skim the broth and let simmer for at least an hour.
- Store in the refrigerator until the next day.
- You can also use chicken broth instead of the making your own.
The Day Before Serving
Sticky Rice Stuffing:
Making the sticky rice stuffing. I prefer to make the stuffing the night before since it has to be completely cool before it can be stuffed into duck.
- 4 cups sticky rice – soaked overnight
- a handful of fried shallots (you can get these in packages in Chinatown)
- 6 sticks of Chinese sausage diced or some Chinese bacon (la rou).
- a double handful of dried shitake mushrooms soaked and diced
- 1 small onion or half a bunch of scallions diced
- 1 handful of dried cherries – I like the cherries or craisins for the tartness, which helps cut the heaviness of the duck.
- 1 handful of dried jujubes (Chinese dates)
- a handful of dried shrimp soaked and minced (optional)
- 2 salted duck eggs
- duck or chicken broth
- Sauté the diced sausage and scallions in a wok until the fat is translucent.
- Add the shallots and continue sautéing until the shallots smell nice.
- Add the mushrooms and continue stirring.
- Pour the sausage and mushroom mixture into another bowl.
- Pour the drained rice into pot and stir fry until pungent.
- Add about a cup of duck broth and continue stirring.
- Pour in the sausage and mushroom mixture.
- Add the dried cherries.
- Mix everything thoroughly. Add enough broth or water so the rice mixture is covered. Cover with lid
- Let cook for 20 minutes.
- Check occasionally in case you have to add more liquid.
- You probably want a drier mix for the stuffing so it doesn’t ooze when the duck fat and juices soak in during baking. (Yum!)
- Add the salted duck eggs use the spatula to mash the yolks and mixed it thoroughly in the rice mixture.
- Refrigate until the next day.
The last time I made this I didn’t have enough time to make the stuffing so I stuffed about 6 homemade savory zongzi into the cavity instead. Since it contained homemade sausage and bacon as well as VA ham it was amazing.
The Day Arrives!
- 1 duck
- Needle thread
- 2 tablespoons Lee Kum Kee Char Siu Sauce
- 2 tablespoons Korean honey citrus ginger tea
- Orange juice
- Preheat oven 300°.
- Stuff the body cavity leave a little room for expansion, otherwise it will ooze.
- Sew the cavity closed. I would recommend a heavy CONTRASTING COLOR thread and a curved needle. Dental floss (not plastic) would work best. Otherwise it’s really hard to locate and removed once you’ve roasted and glazed the duck. This is NOT plastic surgery. You DO want the stitches to be easily seen and removed.
- If your duck as a large flap of skin left from the neck. You can origami a pocket in place and stuff and sew that together.
- Place the duck breast side down, and tuck the wing tips underneath.
- Put the duck in the oven and cook for 1 hour.
- Make glaze. Add the BBQ sauce & marmalade in a bowl. Add enough enough orange juice to make it runny enough to apply with a brush.
- Turn over and cook for 1 hour.
- Turn over and cook for 1 hour.
- Raise the temperature to 400°, turn over and glaze the duck. Cook for another 1/2 hour.
- Take the duck out of the oven and allow the duck rest for 20 minutes, to allow the juices to reabsorb and also to cool enough to cut.
- Carve the duck by removing the legs and wings. Remove the breasts and any additional skin.
- Reserve the carcass for soup.