Duck make a good alternative to turkey for a festive menu especially when there are not many people present as there is not so much meat on a duck as on a turkey. Slow cooking and pricking of the skin will help to draw out any excess fat.
2 kg Duck
Salt and Pepper
For the Sauce:
100 g Sugar
6 tablespoons Cider Vinegar
120 ml Orange Liqueur
Pre-heat the oven to 150°C- 300°F- Gas 2.
Trim your Duck of all excess fat and prick the skin all over. Rub inside and outside with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with string to keep them in place and place on a rack inside a roasting tin. Cover tightly with foil and place into the oven to cook for 1½ hours. After this time remove the foil and drain off the fat. Raise the temperature to 200°C- 400°F- Gas 6 and continue cooking for a further 30 minutes, basting every 5-10 minutes with the orange mixture (see below), until the skin is golden brown and the juices run clear. Leave the duck,covered, to rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.
Remove the peel from the oranges thinly, with a peeler and cut into thin strips. Squeeze the juice from the oranges and set aside. In a heavy based pan, dissolve the sugar in the vinegar slowly. When dissolved bring to the boil over a high heat and boil, without stirring, until it is a rich golden caramel colour. Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the orange juice. Swirl the pan to combine and bring back to the boil. Add the orange peel strips and orange liqueur and simmer gently for a further 2-3 minutes. (Use some of this liquid to baste the duck).
Once rested, pour the juices from the cavity of the duck back into the roasting tin along with the remaining orange mixture, skim off the fat, and bring to a gentle simmer for a couple of minutes. Serve the carved duck with the orange sauce and slices of warmed oranges.
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