"Clementine Holiday Duck"
1 whole duck (about 5 lbs.)
1/8 cup pineapple juice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon Australian pink salt
1/2 teaspoon ground rose baises peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon sweet marjoram
1/4 teaspoon sweet basil
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon rosemary
1 Clementine orange
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger root
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon thyme
Remove giblets from duck. Remove neck skin and any loose fat. Reserve these for another project. Wash the duck and pat it dry. Prick the skin all over, or slash in a diamond pattern, to allow the fat to drain. Truss the wings and legs with cotton twine. Set oven to Rotisserie and start preheating.
In a small bowl, pour 1/8 cup pineapple juice. In a mortar and pestle, grind together 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon Australian pink salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground pink peppercorns, 1/2 teaspoon sweet marjoram, 1/4 teaspoon sweet basil, 1/4 teaspoon allspice, and 1/4 teaspoon rosemary. Stir spice blend into the juice. Brush over duck, taking care to coat entire surface.
Place the duck on the spit in the oven, over a drip pan. Roast on the rotisserie for about 1 1/2 hours. Drain off and save the fat as it collects in the drip pan. If there is any spiced juice left, you can baste it onto the duck periodically.
Zest a Clementine orange into a small bowl, collecting all the colored part of the rind. Cut the orange in half and juice it, getting as much of the juice and pulp into the bowl as possible. Stir in 1/4 cup of honey and 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger root. Add 1/2 teaspoon allspice and 1/4 teaspoon thyme, then stir again. Brush the glaze over the entire duck. Cook for another half hour.
When done, the skin should be golden brown and crisp, with little fat remaining. Legs should move freely and juices should run clear. If you're using a meat thermometer, test the thickest part of the thigh, which should measure 165°F.
Remove the duck from the rotisserie and place it on a platter. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before carving. Garnish with spiral peel or slices from more Clementines if desired.
If you don't have a rotisserie oven, you can just roast the duck, which is typically done at a lower temperature (300-375°F) for longer (3 or more hours).
Duck fat is valuable! Don't throw it away. People actually sell it in stores as a cooking ingredient. Like goose fat, it makes an exceptional frying or roasting medium for potatoes or other vegetables. You can substitute it for schmaltz (chicken fat) in many Jewish recipes for an even richer taste. It also makes a good rub for lean, dry meat such as venison.
Also when serving duck, you can remove almost all the meat by cutting off the drumsticks and breasts. Save the rest of the carcass to make stock, adding in the giblets and skin if you aren't using those for anything else. Duck stock is exquisitely rich stuff, ideal for making soup or as cooking liquid for grains or roasts.
Any kind of sweet citrus juice will work for the first basting, although orange is ideal. We happened to have pineapple, so that's what I used.
Australian pink salt has a delicate flavor with plenty of trace minerals. If you don't have it, substitute Himalayan pink salt; with sea salt or plain table salt, reduce the amount.
Rose baises are pink peppercorns with mild heat and a pronounced fruity note. If you can't find any, you can use white or black pepper instead, but reduce the amount.
Clementines are tiny, super-sweet oranges with a strong floral note. They only appear for a month or two around the winter holidays. This is the real key to the recipe, so if you substitute here, you'll wind up with ordinary orange duck (which is still pretty good).
Use orange blossom honey if you have any. Otherwise any light to medium floral honey will work, such as clover or wildflower.