How to make it

  • 1. Start a large pot of water (deep enough to submerge a whole duck) on the stove, bringing to a rolling boil.
  • 2. Preheat oven to 425 F (232 C).
  • 3. Remove excess fat from the duck.
  • 4. Rinse duck inside and out under cool running water and pat dry.
  • 5. With a large sharp fork, prick the skin all over, being careful not to pierce the meat.
  • 6. Carefully put the duck in the pot of boiling water; boil for 10 - 15 minutes, depending on size. This will help render out some of the fat.
  • 7. Remove duck and let cool. Pat dry.
  • 8. Mix the salt, pepper, sage and paprika. Rub the duck inside and out with the spice mixture.
  • 9. Place the duck on a rack in a roasting pan breast side up. Stuff the orange and apple quarters, whole head of garlic (top trimmed) and cut celery pieces into the cavity of the duck.
  • 10. Fold the neck skin under, covering the cavity. Secure with a skewer.
  • 11. Place the duck in the oven.
  • 12. After 15 minutes, lower the oven temperature to 350 F (175 C).
  • 13. After 45 minutes, remove duck from oven.
  • 14. Remove any fat that may have collected in the bottom of the roasting pan.
  • 15. Carefully turn duck over, place back on rack in roasting pan, and return to oven for 35 minutes.
  • 16. At the end of the 35 minutes, remove duck from oven, remove any fat that may have accumulated, and carefully turn duck back over so breast side faces up.
  • 17. Return to oven. If you have a 5 pound duck, cook for another 15 minutes; for a 6 pound duck, cook for another 20 minutes (total cooking time should add up to about 22 minutes per pound). Be careful not to overcook. The internal temperature should be 175 degrees at the thickest part of the leg and thigh joint.
  • 18. Remove duck from oven.
  • 19. Transfer duck to a cutting board and let stand 15 minutes. Remove oranges, garlic and celery from cavity and discard.
  • 20. Carve duck and serve.
  • Mashed potatoes, sautéed zucchini and crusty bread round this off. A glass, or two, of good Aussie white would not go amiss.

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