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Alvin Starkman Articles >  Toronto Duck Recipe



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Crispy Roast Duck Recipe from Toronto Eatery Cuts Fat, Checks Sauce a l’Orange

Alvin Starkman, M.A., LL.B. (Article archive)

The Toronto restaurant which was kind enough to provide the following crispy duck recipe closed about three decades ago.  But since that time I’ve been regularly roasting duck using this tried and true recipe, perhaps 30 – 40 times.  And with each duck dinner has come accolades from poultry and game bird aficionados who have flocked to the Starkman residence.

Duck is notorious for being a fatty fowl, and for this reason difficult to prepare and devour in the home.  Accordingly, many opt for dining out on duck in Chinese restaurants or simply taking out from Oriental barbeques a la Peking Duck.  Fair enough.  However, poultry-philes are often attracted to the low-fat nature and otherwise healthy character of this class of meat, so a salty soya sauce and sugar based marinade detracts from the duck’s appeal and ruffles the feathers of many.

A quick gander at the recipe reveals features sure to entice:

• The duck can be prepared in stages, and even frozen part way through the process, thereby enabling the cook to have a relatively easy dinner day;
• The recipe lives up to its billing, centering upon fat removal and ensuring a crispy skin;
• Rather than be restricted to traditional duck a l’orange, any sauce can be used, spiked with one’s favorite flavor of liqueur.

with Choice of Liqueur Sauce (orange or otherwise)


    · 1 medium sized frozen duck
    · Salt
    · Choice of sauce (see 8. below)


1. Defrost duck

2. Remove all excess fat and skin from both ends of duck, then salt well on inside and outside

3. Place duck in roasting pan, breast down, and add water so that 1/3 to ½ of the duck is covered with water

4. Back in preheated 450 – 475 oven, uncovered, 40 minutes, then turn duck onto back and bake another 40 minutes, uncovered

5. Pour all liquid into bowl, and refrigerate, covered

6. Refrigerate duck, covered, 1 – 3 days, or it can be frozen at this stage

7. The day of serving, cut duck into quarters, and place bone side down on wire rack in baking dish, and place in 450 oven for about 35 minutes

8. In the meantime, remove fate from refrigerated liquid, and use remaining gravy to make favorite sauce (i.e. orange or berry flavor using flavored liqueur, following duck sauce recipe from any cookbook)

9. Remove duck from oven and place in frying pan over medium heat for 15 – 20 minutes, turning frequently so that all surfaces get dark and crispy and any remaining fat is lost

10. Return to oven immediately before serving, for about 5 minutes or until once again very hot

11. Serve with sauce on the side, any wild rice recipe, and two mixed steamed vegetables of different colors such as carrots and broccoli




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