We had a delicious roast duck this evening. I sometimes find myself wondering if duck is worth the effort but this one cooked up a treat. First I pricked it all over, put it in the slow cooker with a couple of bay leaves and poured over boiling water. That let some of the fat drain and got it part-way cooked without any risk of drying out.
After removing it from the water and patting it dry, I spatchcocked it — removing the backbone and pressing down on the breast so that it flattened out — before roasting it in the oven. Spatchcocking a bird lets it cook quicker and more evenly, avoiding the typical problem of the breast drying out before the leg meat is done.
I also took the precaution of cooking it on a rack over some of the green tomato chutney I made yesterday (anything that hasn’t turned red yet probably won’t!) and with parboiled potatoes in the corners. That stopped the duck from being too oily and also gave perfect roast potatoes and (once I’d poured the excess fat off) a rich sauce to accompany it.
All in all, a very satisfactory meal and definitely not the last duck I ever cook!