From Ferenc Horvath
This is what the Italians would call Anatra Povera. The crispy skinned duck is delicious but not adulterated. Povera means “poor” and this is a rustic, family-style dish with just a few ingredients. You can add a few sprigs of rosemary if you want to dress it up, but it requires nothing more. Serves four nicely.
- Duck (Maple Leaf Prime Duckling works great if buying a store-bought duck)
- Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375 Fahrenheit Remove giblets and sauce packet Rinse in cold water Season with salt and pepper Stuff onion and garlic in chest cavity Place in roasting pan, uncovered, with breast side up. 22 minutes per pound (ex. 6 lb bird = 2 hrs and 15 minutes) Internal temperature measured at the thigh should be 180 Fahrenheit
Frank explains: I can’t really take credit for the duck being fat and self basting for the most part. Aside from seasoning (salt and pepper only) and stuffing onion and a head of garlic cut in half (exposing the cloves) in the cavity, I simply followed the time and temperature recommendations on the packaging. Twice during cooking I opened the oven and used the drained fat to baste the bird (you have to wait about an hour to have enough fat in the pan). At the end the bird came out golden brown and it was superb. I did not use the orange sauce included with the bird. Instead I used apple sauce at room temperature. You can take a piece of meat, dunk it in the apple sauce and eat it. (I learned it in a Hungarian restaurant.)
We have tried stuffing ducks with various things, and everything from duck a la orange to numerous others, and we keep coming back to this one, as it is simply the best duck flavor, which doesn’t need all of the sugars and finery to make it great. The apple sauce is simply the best dipping sauce as well. If you want to dress it u for service, quarter the bird and serve with roasted chestnuts, fresh figs halved, and some honey glazed sautéed shallots.