This impressive and delicious dinner is really quite simple to make. More guests… no problem, just double the recipe. Fresh figs are used in the original recipe but since they are not always available, I used dry figs. This can be the centerpiece of a festive and unforgettable holiday meal.
1 whole duck, about 5 pounds
2 large onions, quartered
1 large bunch of rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
2 pounds of small Yukon Gold potatoes, halved
1 pint of fresh Mission figs or 1/2 pack of dried figs (4 ounces), halved
½ cup of port for soaking (only if you use dried figs)
If you are not able to purchase fresh figs, you can use dried figs which have been soaked in port for several hours or, preferably, overnight.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place duck, breast-side down, and, to help render the fat, score fatty areas with a paring knife (as shown in the picture below). Be very careful not to cut into the meat.
Turn duck over and score the skin, concentrating mainly on the breast area and extending to tops of the legs.
To help render the extra fat, use a knife to poke around fatty areas of the cavity.
Stuff duck with quartered onions and with rosemary, reserving 4 springs and then season generously with salt and pepper. Don’t worry, most of the seasoning will wash out with fat.
Place the duck breast-side down in a large roasting pan, and add half a cup of water.
Roast, rotating occasionally until duck fat starts to render and water is evaporated and skin is golden brown, about 40 minutes.
Remove pan from oven and transfer duck to a platter or baking dish. Carefully pour fat and any juices from the roasting pan to a heat-proof measuring cup.
Place potatoes into a roasting pan and toss them with two tablespoons of duck fat. Arrange potatoes on the edge of the roasting pan and place duck breast-side up and roast until potatoes are ready and golden and dark meat is tender. Instant-read thermometer inserted into the breast should read 155 degrees Fahrenheit.
Transfer duck to a serving platter, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.
In the meantime, add figs and remaining 4 sprigs of rosemary to the potatoes and continue to roast for another 5 minutes, or until the figs are soft.
Serve duck with potatoes and figs.
This recipe will make 4 serving.
Prep time about 30 minutes
Roast time about 1 hour and 40 minutes
Recipe inspired by recipe found in “Bon Appetit Holiday” 2016 magazine.
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