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Roast Duck Recipe: Simply, A Japanese Make Asian Roast Duck AND Flavorful Gravy

Roast Duck Recipe, Simply, A Japanese Make Asian Roast Duck AND Flavorful Gravy Food & Recipes
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Roasting a whole duck is actually easy, besides it can be a fancy dinner for any special holidays especially Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

This recipe is not FRENCH nor CHINESE but definitely the my-Asian-style roast duck.

The whole duck marinated with sweet dark soy sauce-based sauce overnight and it will be a juicy and tender, and delicious roast duck.

This recipe does not aim for famous CRISPY skin because we don’t eat the skin anyway.

I baste the duck every 15 minutes until the duck is cooked, after 90-minute baking.

(The total roasting time is around 150 min, at 350F) So, you’ll get golden skin and tender meat.

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Prepare The Frozen Duck For 3 Nights Before

The best way to thaw frozen duck is thawing in the refrigerator although it takes up to a few days (1-2 days) to complete.

This method can be thawed while keeping the flavor since the frozen meat is thawed with less temperature difference between the outside and the core.

Yet, I often thaw the frozen duck outside of a fridge but inside a garage in the winter season. (I live in TN.)

It also keeps the duck at a safe temperature throughout the thawing process.

Put the frozen duck in a plastic bag or in a container ( I use a bucket) just in case a package is broken or torn. (it often happened to me…)

I heard about adding the duck for 1 extra day in a fridge before cooking reduces its gamey flavor so I follow the meth so far.

I marinate the duck overnight, so eventually, this recipe requires at least 3-4 nights in advance to serve the dinner.

Soak Giblets In Water For 30 Minutes And More

To remove the gamey flavor and make the savory gravy ever, soak giblets in water before making the gravy base.

This process removes blood from the giblets and makes a delicious gravy.

Soak them for 30 minutes or more while changing the water.

You can also use milk or buttermilk instead of water.

Should You Brine A Duck?

If you don’t like the gamey flavor in duck, you can brine a duck or just soak it in water overnight to remove blood from the duck.

Personally, I think brining is not necessary because the nice gamey flavor is the feature of the duck.

If someone wants to reduce the gamey flavor of the duck, I would prefer to eat chicken.

By the way, I did brine a duck in my baking powder solution before, but it didn’t work to tenderize the meat. (WOW!), however, it totally removed the gamey flavor that we (my husband and i ) like.

Duck Fat

Duck has thick rich fat skin. This means the duck roast is delicious and flavorful even if you skip eating the skin.

Just pierce or score the fat (skin only) before cooking.
Try to avoid piercing the meat.

Sometimes, I use sharp kitchen scissors to cut just skin.

By piercing the duck’s skin with a fork or paring knife, the excess fat is easily rendered.

Moreover, I save the rendered fat in a small jar for the savory French-style fried potatoes.

Although the duck’s rich fat is delicious, I discard the extra fat around the neck and the tail.

Spices

Leeks & Ginger & Garlic

Stuff vegetables that have a strong flavor to add flavor and remove the excess gamey flavor of the duck.

I use leek’s green parts (since I have lots of stock in a freezer), but, you can use halved onions instead.

Garlic and ginger are also essential to remove the gamey flavor and add flavor to the duck meat and the gravy.

Honey And Sugar

Adding honey and sugar is of course to add sweetness but that help to tender the duck’s meat.

Honey is really not necessary if you’re running out, yet, it can add rich flavor.

I normally don’t use an orange sauce coming with the frozen duck since I make the gravy, so I add it to the marinade sauce to make the meat tender.

Chinese Five Spices

Because this recipe says “Asian” the roast duck will be a much more Asian flavor by adding Chinese five spices.

Is it really necessary?

Well, it is up to you.

You can mix up cinnamon powder and ground cloves, and throw star anise in the marinade sauce if you don’t have Chinese Five spices in your pantry.

You know what?!

I don’t want to tell you, but, use all-spice as a substitute for Chinese five spices.

How Long To Cook The Duck In The Oven

Cook the duck at 350 F in an oven throughout the process and the baking time will be between 90 minutes to 150 minutes. (to cook the 6lb duck.)

*When roasting a smaller duck, the cooking time will be shorter and even may not need to cover it with aluminum foil while cooking.

  1. Place the marinated duck breast side up on a large roasting pan with a rack.
  2. Cook the duck for 30 minutes at 350 F, on the lower rack in the oven.
  3. Flip over the duck, at the breast-side down, and continue cooking the bird for another 60 – 90 minutes.
  4. Cook the duck on the lower shelf in the oven. If the marinade sauce starts burning, cover the bird with foil.
  5. After 60 minutes-cooking total, start basting the duck every 15 minutes optionally to make the flavorful skin.
  6. Check the meat temperature and add 10 minutes if needed or it may be cooked while resting covered with aluminum foil for 15-20 minutes.

Make The Duck Gravy

We like homemade gravy for the roast duck rather than the sweet orange sauce.

When making the gravy, I am very moody.

I often change the flavor from the standard to spicy.

Throw any leftover vegetables (preferably the root vegetables such as carrots, celery, even the core of cabbage!) to the grave base.

[Photo] I cooked a whole jalapeno pepper! and a few bell peppers. The gravy became spicy, sweet, and savory!

Besides, you can add the dripping (juice from the roast duck) to the gravy base so the gravy becomes the delicious Asian fusion flavor.

How To Make The Gravy

The Flour Water VS The Starch Water

There are many ways to make gravy from a roast even online, on books, on the family recipe.

Although making the gravy should be simple, (such as adding the fat back to the sauce! LOL), it sometimes get complicated when you want to make it rich and savory.

My husband who is also an cooking enthusiast and I use different mixture- he prefers to use wheat flour water and do potato starch water.

Either flour or starch (even potato or corn) ways are probably similar, and I don’t mind either ways. You know, we just want to make the gravy thicker.

In my opinion, potato starch water is easier quicker to thicken the gravy and looks clear, and the flour water will add further more flavor and looks slurry.

Also, using starch can be less amount to thicken the gravy compared with flour since it contains rich “starch”.

However, the starch “power” will be reduced as long as heating the gravy, so avoid continue cooking the gravy for long after it gets thick.

I normally mix the equal amount of the flour (the starch) and the water.

Tips To Avoid “Lumpy” Gravy

  • Use “cold water” to mix the flour (the starch) and water.
  • Turn off the heat before adding the mixture.
  • Make sure the mixture is well combined before adding it to the gravy.
  • Avoid adding the all mixture at once.
  • Turn off the heat before adding 1/3 of the mixture.
  • Stir the gravy immediately after adding the mixture with a whisk.
  • Turn the heat back on, over the medium-high, and keep stirring until the sauce become thicker.
  • Make sure the gravy is boiled.

The Bouillon

To make the delicious gravy easily, upgrade your bouillon to “better than bouillon”.

roast duck recipe

Easy Asian Roast Duck And Savory Gravy Recipe

Rico McConnellRico McConnell
Roasting a whole duck is actually easy, besides it can be a fancy dinner for any special holidays especially Christmas and New Year’s holidays. This recipe is not FRENCH nor CHINESE but definitely the my-Asian-style roast duck. The whole duck marinated with sweet dark soy sauce-based sauce overnight and it will be a juicy and tender, and delicious roast duck. This recipe does not aim for famous CRISPY skin because we don’t eat the skin anyway. I baste the duck every 15 minutes until the duck is cooked, after 90-minute baking. (The total roasting time is around 150 min, at 350F) So, you’ll get golden skin and tender meat.
Prep Time 2 d
Cook Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 2 d 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients  

  • 6 lb Frozen Whole Duck
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper

For The Marinade Sauce

  • 1 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1 cup Japanese Sake/ White Wine
  • 1 cup Raw Cane Sugar
  • cup Honey/ Orange Sauce/ Fruit Jam
  • 4 Garlic (cut in half)
  • 5-6 Sliced Ginger
  • Leeks (Green parts) *onion / scallion
  • ½ TSP Chinese Five Spices

For The Gravy Sauce

  • giblets, neck in a package
  • 1-1.5 cup Water
  • ½ Sliced Onion
  • cup Japanese Sake/ White Wine
  • 1 tbsp Chicken bouillon
  • 3 tbsp flour or starch
  • 3 tbsp water for mixing with the flour (or the starch)

Instructions 

Thaw And Rinse A Frozen Duck

  • Thaw completely a frozen duck in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
  • Remove the duck from a bag and cut off excess fat from the body cavity and neck with a pair of kitchen scissors.
  • Rinse the duck thoughtfully.
  • With a sharp knife fork, prick the skin all over while pinching the skin with being careful not to pierce the meat.

Marinate The Duck Overnight

  • Gather all ingredients for the marinade sauce.
    Optionally, you can cook the marinade sauce to dissolve the sugar and cook down the alcohol content.
    (…I normally don't.)
  • Stuff the garlic, ginger, and leeks/ green onion in the cavity.
  • Refrigerate the duck in the sauce overnight. Flip the duck once and continue marinating.

Make The Gravy Base (You can do this process while marinating the duck or cook it at the same time while cooking the duck)

  • Soak giblets and the neck in water for 30 minutes to remove blood, while changing the water occasionally.
  • In a medium saucepan, add giblets& the neck, sliced onion, Japanese sake/ White wine, and water.
  • Bring the water to a boil, and add chicken bouillon.
    Cover with a lid, and simmer it for 2 hours.

Cook The Duck

  • Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).
  • Remove the duck from the marinade sauce, and drain the duck to remove the excess sauce.
    *Pat drying is not necessary, but make sure to remove excess sauce from the inside of the duck.
  • Rub/ sprinkle the duck with fresh ground black pepper.
  • Place the duck in a roasting pan breast-side up. Then, cook the bird for 30 minutes.
  • Flip the bird, breast-side down, and continue cooking for 60-90 minutes.
    *After 60 minutes-cooking total, start basting the duck every 15 minutes optionally to make the flavorful skin.
    *Cook the duck on the lower shelf in the oven. If the marinade sauce starts burning, cover the bird with foil.
  • When the internal temperature reaches 180F at the thickest part of the leg and thigh joint, remove the duck from the oven.
    Cover the duck with foil for 15-20 minutes.
    * It may be cooked while resting while covered with aluminum foil for 15-20 minutes.

Finish The Gravy

  • Remove the onion and giblets & the neck, and reheat the gravy base.
  • You can add the dripping sauce to the roasting pan to add more flavor optionally.
  • Turn off the heat. In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour (or the starch) with the cold water well.
  • Add ⅓ of the flour mixture to the gravy, immediately, stir them well with a whisk.
    Turn on the heat, and repeat the process.
  • Simmer the gravy while stirring until it gets thicker.

Video

Notes

*1) You can use ground garlic. Grate 2 garlic cloves when using ground garlic. 
*2) You can use 1 tsp of ground ginger.
  • Save the duck fat (just before basting) from roasting as it has a lot of flavors and it’s great for roasting/ double-fry potatoes.
©Japanmcconnell/Rico McConnell- Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.
Keyword Easy, Holiday, marinade, Oven, Party, Poultry, Sake, Soy sauce

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