David's Recipe for Roast Duck

American recipes don't normally call for the duck to be flattened, but flattening makes it easier to spread the condiments evenly and allows it to cook more evenly.

Main Course, American

  • 1 medium duck
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to hot.
  2. The duck will usually have the stumps of many feathers still attached. To remove them, singe them on an open gas burner and then pull them with your fingers, if necessary.
  3. Cut the duck down the full length of the breast side, then flatten the duck.
  4. Rub it all over on both sides with the pepper, the brandy, and the brown sugar. Be careful to get at the places which are easily neglected, like under the wings.
  5. Prick the skin side of the duck in many places with a fork.
  6. Place the duck skin side up on a wire mesh above a cookie sheet or large baking pan, so that the fat can drip down and not be in contact with the duck.
  7. Place in the oven, lower the heat to moderate, and roast for an 1-1/4 hours or until the duck is well browned.
  8. The duck can be carved either in the kitchen or at the table, and served with or without a gravy based on the pan juices.

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