No matter what style of cooking you prefer, you have to admit, buying a whole item, whether a whole turkey or whole head of cabbage, is just about always cheaper than buying it already yanked apart for you. Obviously, some of us are quite busy and don’t always have time for the whole ordeal of processing foo from scratch. However, you can really stretch your budget once you get into making bone broths and rendering fats.
I often buy whole birds when they are on sale and pop them into my deep freeze. Recently, the whole ducks were on sale at our local market. Duck is one of those fatty delights I almost never buy. They are just too expensive for our food budget much of the time. Although, if I really use the whole bird, it isn’t too bad. Quite frankly, once you have a certain number of mouths to feed, nothing aside from beans and rice is all that cheap.
Garlic Lime Marinated Whole Roasted Duck (cook time: about 3 hours)
6-7 lb whole duck
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon salt
Fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Remove neck and giblets. Rinse duck in cold water inside and out. Trim excess neck fat if you like. (Or save that puppy for more cookin’!)
Place duck breast side down in roasting pan with the fat flap folded underneath (if you didn’t trim it off). Cut five limes in half and squeeze fresh lime juice over bird. Gently rub bird with garlic and salt. Sprinkle pepper and thyme over skin. Squeeze your sixth lime into the cavity. Leave roaster in fridge for 6+ hours to marinate. (You can leave it overnight.)
Remove pan from fridge one hour before cooking.
Turn oven to 420°F. Roast duck breast side down, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Then turn heat down to 350° and continue roasting for one hour. Turn temp down again to 300° and continue roasting for one hour 15 minutes. Excess liquid should evaporate on its own.
Carve your duck for whichever presentation you prefer.
In my opinion, people make whole bird roasting too complicated with all the basting and flipping. I just cook it breast down and uncovered. so long as it is breast down, it will not get dry. Especially a fatty duck!
Now remember to stick that carcass, skin, and fat into your slow cooker with water overnight for soup stock!