This simple recipe for Bohemian-style roast duck is delicious when served with Czech bread dumplings and Polish braised red cabbage. Duck or goose was too expensive for everyday eating, so this was a special-occasion meal in my family unless you were one of the szlachta (nobility). My sister has less-than-fond memories of making friends with the duck busia bought at the live poultry store only to witness its demise and its blood drained for czarnina soup. Luckily, I was spared these Kodak moments. Leftover duck can be used in cooked-meat pierogi filling, as stuffing for mushrooms and more.
- 1 5-pound duck (thoroughly cleaned)
- 1 tablespoon salt (more or less, as needed)
- 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
- Wash and pat dry inside and outside of duck.
- Cut wing tips off, and excess fatty skin around the neck and from the cavity.
- Pierce the duck fat all over with a fork, but do not pierce the meat.
- Liberally salt exterior and interior of duck, rub with garlic and sprinkle with caraway.
- Place duck breast-side down in a roasting pan with a lid and cover. If duck is right out of the refrigerator, let sit about 2 hours to come to room temperature.
- Heat oven to 350 F.
- Pour 1 cup water in the bottom of roasting pan.
- Roast duck 1 hour, skimming off excess fat.
- Turn duck breast-side up and continue to roast uncovered for another hour, basting often, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 150 F and the skin is golden.
Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes before carving.