Just ask anyone who lives in L.A.: Josef Centeno's Bäco restaurants are the place to be. And the bright recipes in his first cookbook reflect everything people love about the vibrant flavors, which pull from his diverse cultural background, as well as his training at spots including Manresa and Daniel.
The sweet and savory flavors on this impressive roast make it a centerpiece worthy of any holiday celebration. For maximum skin crispiness, take the full 24 hours to let it rest—we promise it'll be worth the wait.
Whole Roasted Orange- and Soy-Glazed Duck
Excerpted from Bäco, by Josef Centeno and Betty Hallock. Reprinted with permission from Chronicle Books. All rights reserved.
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes, plus resting time
Cook Time: 2 hours and 20 minutes, plus resting time
Total Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes, plus resting time
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon caraway seeds
¼ teaspoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon salt
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
4½ pound whole duck
¼ teaspoon cardamom seeds
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup orange juice
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon baharat
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1. Toast the cumin, caraway, and coriander seeds in a small, dry frying pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Grind the spices to a coarse powder in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle.
2. Mix the ground spices with the salt, garlic, thyme, sugar, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a bowl or container large enough to hold the duck. Set aside.
3. Score the breast side of the duck: Make diagonal slices ¼ in (6 mm) apart with the tip of a very sharp knife, cutting through the skin and fat across the entire breast, but being careful not to cut through to the meat. Turn the bird around and cut slices ¼ in (6 mm) apart in the opposite direction, creating a diamond pattern.
4. Prick or score the legs all over. Rub the duck all over with the spice seasoning and refrigerate, uncovered, for 4 hours. Rinse the duck to remove the seasoning (otherwise it will be salty) and pat dry with paper towels. Put the duck back in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 12 to 24 hours (preferably 24 hours so that the duck skin is very dry).
5. Heat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Put the duck on a rack in a roasting pan, breast side up, and roast for 45 minutes. Carefully turn the duck over so that it's breast side down. Prick around the legs with the tip of a knife or tines of a fork and roast for 45 minutes more.
6. Turn the duck over again to breast side up, prick the breast and legs, and roast until the skin is crispy, about 40 minutes. This is going to depend a lot on your oven. If it isn't crispy, you can increase the heat to 500°F (260°C) and roast for an additional 10 minutes.
7. Meanwhile, put the cloves, cardamom seeds, soy sauce, orange juice, honey, baharat, and red pepper flakes in a saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until the mixture is reduced to about 3 Tbsp or 1/4 cup (60 mL), about 12 minutes. It will look dry and almost burned. Whisk in the butter until emulsified. Set aside.
8. During the last several minutes of roasting, brush the entire duck with a very thin layer of the soy-orange glaze (don't use too much or you’ll compromise the crispiness). When the skin is crispy, 4 to 6 minutes after the glaze is applied, remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately.