Roasting the fruit for the compote creates deep, rich flavor that complements the succulent duck. We call for frozen duck here because it's more widely available. If you can find fresh duck, the dish will taste even better. Prick the skin with a fork to help release fat during cooking. Serve with a simple tossed salad. -Recipe by Dana Landry
1 (4-pound) frozen dressed domestic duck, thawed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, divided
1/2 cup coarsely chopped celery
1/2 cup coarsely chopped carrot
1 small onion, quartered
1 garlic clove, minced
1 orange, halved and seeded
2/3 cup dry red wine
1 cup pitted cherries
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 peach, cut into (1-inch) pieces
2 Bartlett or Anjou pears, cut into (1-inch) pieces
2 Golden Delicious apples, cut into (1-inch) pieces
2 tablespoons dry white wine
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 375°.
To prepare duck, rinse duck under cold water; pat dry. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in body cavity. Place celery, carrot, onion, and garlic in cavity; tie ends of legs together with string. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under duck. Place duck on the rack of a broiler pan or roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Place rack in pan. Rub cut sides of orange halves over duck; pierce skin over breast several times with a fork. Bake at 375° for 1 hour and 45 minutes or until a thermometer registers 180°, basting every 30 minutes with red wine. Let stand 10 minutes. Discard skin; sprinkle duck with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cover; keep warm. Drain pan drippings.
Increase oven temperature to 475°.
To prepare compote, combine cherries and next 4 ingredients (through apple) in bottom of roasting pan coated with cooking spray, tossing gently. Bake at 475° for 25 minutes or until very tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in 2 tablespoons white wine; bake an additional 5 minutes. Serve with duck.