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Roasted Ducks with Tangerine-Hoisin Glaze

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Serves 8

Rubbing the ducks with a mix of garlic, tangerine zest, five-spice powder, and coriander and then refrigerating for a day or two adds flavor and helps the skin crisp during roasting.

For the ducks
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tsp. finely grated tangerine zest
  • 2-1/2 tsp. coriander seed
  • 2-1/2 tsp. five-spice powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 Pekin (Long Island) ducks (5 to 6 lb. each), giblets discarded
For the glaze
  • 3 Tbs. hoisin sauce
  • 2 Tbs. orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier or Triple Sec
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 1 Tbs. fresh tangerine juice
  • 1 tsp. Asian sesame oil
Season the ducks

In a mortar or spice grinder, grind the garlic, tangerine zest, coriander, five-spice, 2 Tbs. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper to a coarse paste.

Make 20 to 30 small slits in the skin of each duck, using a sharp paring knife held parallel to the duck surface so that you pierce the skin and fat but not the meat. Be sure to make slits on the backs and thighs as well as the breasts. Rub about two-thirds of the spice mixture into the duck cavities and then rub the remaining all over the skin. Set the ducks on a rack over a large rimmed baking sheet and allow to air dry uncovered in the refrigerator for 24 to 36 hours.

Roast the ducks

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Let the ducks sit at room temperature as the oven heats. Arrange the ducks breast down on two small V-racks in a large roasting pan and roast for 1-1/4 hours. Remove the pan from the oven and spoon or pour off most of the fat from the roasting pan—use a turkey baster if you have one. Flip the ducks, using sturdy tongs inserted in the cavities, and pierce the skin again all over with a knife. Continue roasting the ducks until the meat around the thighs feels tender when prodded (a skewer should penetrate the thigh with no resistance), the legs feel loose in their joints, and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh near the joint reads 175°F, 45 to 60 minutes more.

Glaze the ducks

Remove the ducks from the oven, and increase the oven temperature to 500°F. In a small bowl, whisk the hoisin, orange liqueur, honey, tangerine juice, and sesame oil. Transfer the ducks (on the racks) to a rimmed baking sheet. With a brush, paint the breasts and legs with a thin layer of glaze and return to the oven. Paint again after 5 minutes and continue roasting until mahogany-color, 3 to 5 minutes more.

Let the ducks rest for 5 to 10 minutes before carving.

Drink Suggestions

To drink: A good match for the rich duck is a bright and acidic Riesling, like the Weingut Münzberg Riesling Kabinett 2007 ($20). It’s well balanced with sweet, juicy fruit and perfect acidity on the finish. Hints of pear and green apple, too.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 820; Fat (g): fat g 66; Fat Calories (kcal): 590; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 22; Protein (g): protein g 44; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 30; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 9; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 9; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 1070; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 190; Fiber (g): fiber g 1;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Just revisiting this recipe and reminded how delicious it was! Will make this again in the near future.

Truly delicious! I did this with duck breasts! Yum!

Flavorful beyond belief.

I cooked the duck in a small tabletop convection oven. The duck was elevated on a little grate, so it was crispy on both sides and did not cook in the fat. I omitted the glaze, and used it as a side. Instead I pored a 1/4 cup of orange and lemon juice on top once the temperature was reduced and that infused more of the flavor in it. It was excellent and I will make it again.

I don't like the taste of white pepper or the Hoisin sauce, but I must admit that this glaze produces a very tasty coating on the duck. The recipe is easy to follow, I only stumbled once when I tried to grate the zest. Tangerine skin was too thin and fragile for that. I ended up mashing the skins through the garlic press (along with the garlic). Garlic press also helped to make the tangerine juice. The wine pairing with Riesling worked well, the dinner was a success!

Excellent. Made two 5 pound ducks in a large roasting pan for New Year's Eve paired with the wild rice with cranberry raisin recipe. A gravy or sauce would enhance the dish in my opinion.

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