This turned out REALLY good. The crispy skin was the absolute best part. One thing that I would do differently would be to cook this to 130 degrees and then take it out. Being that this was my first duck, I did not realize that it could be cooked medium-rare. I got the recipe from Nom Nom Paleo, which is an awesome paleo blog. I highly recommend checking it out!
For poking the flesh, I ended up using a stitch ripper. With the move, all of my IVF needles are lost somewhere. I just couldn’t find anything else. Be sure not to puncture the flesh.
1 whole duck, innards removed
1 lemon, cut in half
1 Tbsp sea salt
1 bunch fresh thyme
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Rinse the duck, inside and out and then dry THOROUGHLY!. You need to get every bit of moisture out so that you don’t end up steaming your duck. There will be no crispy skin if that happens. Pierce the skin (but not the flesh) of the duck with a needle. Stuff the duck with the fresh herbs (you can use other herbs if you’d like). Rub all of the skin with the lemon and squeeze the juice out as you go. Put the used lemon into the body cavity when you are done. Rub the duck with the sea salt. Place the duck in the roasting pan (I ended up using a dutch oven) with the breast-side up.
Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the duck from the oven and increase the temperature to 525 degrees. If you have a thermometer that you can place in the meat while it is cooking, this would be a good idea. For medium rare duck, remove at 130 degrees. If the duck is not up to 130 and you want the skin to be even more crispy, then continue cooking.
HONEY BALSAMIC BEETS AND CARROTS:
2 large beets, cut into 1 cm cubes
5 carrots, cut into 1 cm rounds
2 Tbsp raw, organic honey
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp sea salt
Preheat the oven to 425
Place the root vegetables in a baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Roast for 1 hour.
Place the roasted vegetables into a large skllet. Add the vinegar and honey. Simmer until the liquid is absorbed or thickened. Stir in the sea salt.