You need a delicious duck recipe? Believe me you won’t regret trying this one.

This past Holiday season, I got to spend a lot of time at home surrounded with family and people I love. And there is no better way to greet and welcome all, than around a warm family meal. So I cooked often and always tried to make something special for everyone from the simplest recipe, to the little more sophisticated ingredients for those special occasions.

This delicious orange and guava duck is one of those recipes that topped the list.

One very important person, dear to my heart, was missing though this Holiday season, along with his irreplaceable wife and my adorable little nieces. They were all busy abroad playing the little get-well-soon-elves to him with tons of love and devotion, and gratefully, it paid off. How I missed them!!! But it was all for a better “today” and even better “tomorrow”. I know that they would have rejoiced in sharing one, if not all of of these happy meals with the rest of the family. They would also have loved having some of that duck.

In all the rush of cooking and hosting, the excitement of chatting and cheering, I knew that if I had to write down at least one recipe to share with you this past Holiday season, it had to be the duck.

My orange and guava duck was a real success and truly not quite as difficult to make as you would expect. As long as you narrow down the perfect cooking method and the ideal marinade and glaze, everyone will be in for a treat.

The most difficult and tedious part of it all will be the carving. If you have no clue where to start on how to carve your duck perfectly, here’s an easy video tutorial you can follow which explains easily in under 2 minutes. Hope this helps!

So now, to your kitchen. Aprons on! Let’s roast some duck!

Ingredients for two ducks (cut recipe in half if making 1 roast duck)

2 ducks of about 5 to 6 lbs
4 tbsp of creole marinade
2 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tbsp coriander
1/2 tbsp cumin powder
1 tsp five spice
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 lime zest
1/2 tbsp lime juice
8 cardamom pods crushed
1 large onion

Ingredients for the glaze
2 freshly squeezed oranges – yields 1/2 cup juice
1 tbsp orange zest
1 cup orange liqueur (I like the Haitian Berling Orange Liqueur)
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
4 tbsp guava jelly (I like the Haitian Pidy)
2 star anis
4 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup pomegranate molasses
3 tbsp honey

Start by letting your duck thaw properly. Remove from inside the neck and the that holds the giblets, which you may want to save in the freezer for another use.

Remove the excess fat around the neck skin and in the tail area with kitchen scissors or a sharp knife. Now with your sharp knife, cut across your duck skin without reaching to the meat in a checkered pattern. This will allow for your duck skin to let the marinade penetrate under then skin for delicious flavors.

Now mix together in a bowl your marinade ingredients : your creole marinade, your salt, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, five spice, black pepper, grated ginger, lime juice and zest, and crushed cardamom.

Once your marinade is ready, spread it all inside and outside the duck making sure to season all the crevasses underneath the wings, thighs and neck. Add the extra marinade inside the duck as well as half a whole onion in each.

When done, tie the legs with cooking thread or pock 2 tiny wholes through the excess skin with your knife to do as I do, and run through each drumstick in one of the wholes to hold thighs firmly closed together.

In a large roasting pan, place your duck breast side up and let marinade at room temperature for a couple of hours or overnight in the fridge if you have time. If so, bring to room temperature prior to roasting.

In the mean time, in a saucepan over medium heat, prepare your glaze. Start with your freshly squeezed orange juice, your Haitian orange liqueur, pomegranate molasse, honey and your delicious guava jelly. Let it melt and dissolve into your sauce. Now add in your grated ginger, orange zest, star anis, cloves and cinnamon stick and let it simmer until it thickens to a syrupy glaze. Remove from heat and set aside for after.

Now, when ready to cook, preheat your oven at 400° and place your ducks in the oven for 2:30 hours uncovered.

After the first hour, flip the ducks over and reduce the heat to 350°.

After another 30 minutes, flip back on the back. And top with your glaze.

Glaze again in another 30 minutes. This will allow your glaze to coat the skin perfectly and get it extra crispy and flavorful.

Repeat for the last 30 minutes.

When your duck is ready, remove from heat and let stand to cool.

With a basting syringe, remove the excess oil from the top of your sauce. Set it aside. Once cooled, it will turn into a white paste. That’s your duck fat. And oh, yeah … word of advice… DO NOT throw away your duck fat. Preserve it in the fridge in a container for another recipe. Duck fat makes the best french fries or roast potatoes 🙂

The remaining sauce is where all your guava and orange taste lies. This syrupy like sauce is devine. Pour it in a small sauce pan to reheat it before serving. It’ll be delicious I promise.

Now before serving, with a sharp knife, carve your duck with care, making sure to remove the breasts as a whole. I like to cut my duck breast (the magrets) in several pieces for more pieces and sharing, as well as the thighs. But that’s me.

Bon appétit!

A few side notes:

If you have prepared your duck ahead of your guests’ arrival and you like it served warm, re-heat it 20 to 30 minutes before serving in a hot oven at 350° to warm it up and have the skin re-crisp.