Roasting hens may be substituted for the ducks in this recipe. We suggest trying one of each.
3 (4- to 6-lb.) whole ducks
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 1/4 teaspoons pepper
2 small oranges, quartered
2 small onions, quartered
2 carrots, quartered
2 celery ribs, quartered
3 parsley sprigs
1 (12-oz.) jar orange marmalade
1/4 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Garnishes: whole kumquats, fresh rosemary sprigs
How to Make It
Remove giblet packages from ducks, and reserve for another use. Rinse ducks, and pat dry. Remove excess fat and skin. Rub ducks evenly with salt and pepper. Squeeze juice from 1 orange quarter into each duck cavity. Fill duck cavities with remaining orange quarters, onions, carrots, celery, and parsley sprigs. Prick legs and thighs with a fork, avoiding breast area. Place ducks, breast sides up, on a wire rack in an aluminum foil-lined shallow roasting pan. Tie legs together with kitchen string.
Stir together orange marmalade and next 5 ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes or until orange marmalade is melted. Remove and reserve 3/4 cup mixture.
Bake ducks at 350° for 1 1/2 hours; brush evenly with orange sauce, and bake 25 to 30 more minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion of thigh registers 180°. Garnish, if desired. Serve with reserved 3/4 cup orange mixture.
Orange-Glazed Hens: Substitute 3 (5- to 7-lb.) whole chickens for ducks. Do not prick chickens. Proceed as directed. Bake at 350° for 1 1/2 hours; brush evenly with orange glaze, and bake 30 more minutes. Brush with orange glaze; shield with aluminum foil. Bake 15 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion of thigh registers 170°. Garnish, if desired. Serve with reserved 3/4 cup orange mixture.