'Braised' in its own fat, the skin of this duck is golden and crisp and the meat is made quite tender. As a finishing touch, the duck is cut into pieces and sautéed in the rendered fat for extra crispiness.
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (4 to 5-pound) duck, rinsed, dried, and cut in half
4 sprigs of thyme
4 cloves of garlic, skin left on and lightly crushed
- Salt and pepper the duck liberally on both sides.
- Place each half, skin side down, in a large, heavy-bottomed (preferably cast-iron) pan. Wedge the thyme and garlic under the skin.
- Cover the pan with its lid or with foil, and place it over low heat. Braise for one hour (duck should crackle and sizzle gently; skin should be golden and crisp; most fat should be rendered).
- Turn duck. Cover pan. Braise for another hour, until duck bottom is well browned and meat is quite tender.
- Remove duck to a cutting board; with a poultry shear, halve the halves.
- Place two tablespoons of the reserved fat from the pan into a clean sauté pan, and heat the pan to medium high. Place duck pieces skin side down, and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, just until skin turns crisp and dark. Transfer to a dish.
Makes 2 to 3 servings.