One of the meals that we had quite often while we were in Europe was roasted duck. Since we were there through autumn and winter, game foods such as duck, goose, elk, deer, and rabbit were commonly found as the specialty for the season. Usually the duck was served with some sort of a berry sauce or glaze, so when we decided to recreate those meals here at home, we decided to create a plum glaze. We purchased a full duck and deboned the breast ourselves, but you could certainly have a butcher do that for you. Not only did our version turn out to be delicious, we actually believe that it might have been even better than any version that we had in the restaurants of Europe. That is certainly not a boast that we would dare to make very often.
- Whole Duck – Quartered and the Breast De-boned
- 1/2 cup Plum Jam
- 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp Fresh Rosemary – finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp Fresh Thyme – finely chopped
- 1 clove Fresh Garlic – minced
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
In a small sauce pan, combine the jam, vinegar, rosemary, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper. Heat on medium-low heat until all of the ingredients are fully combined. Using a paring knife, score the skin of the duck, making sure to get through the skin, but not penetrating the meat. Baste the duck with about a quarter of the jam sauce and let sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat a large cast-iron skillet with the olive oil to medium heat. The pan should be hot enough to sear the skin, but not too hot or the skin will burn before the fat from the duck is rendered. Place the duck in the skillet skin side down and sear for about 15 to 20 minutes until the skin is brown. Baste the non-skin side of the duck with another quarter of the plum sauce while the skin is crisping. Flip the duck over, baste with another quarter of the plum sauce and put the skillet with the duck into the oven. Cook the duck for 20 to 30 minutes, basting one more time half way through. Remove from the oven and let stand, tented, for about 15 minutes. Serve with your favorite side dish or vegetables.