Method: For crispy duck:
Wash and dry the ducks. Reserve necks and giblets for sauce.
Pepper the ducks two days before you
plan to serve them. Spread the cracked pepper on a cutting board and roll
the ducks in the pepper until they are well coated. Place the ducks, uncovered,
on wire racks and refrigerate two days. This drying ensures a crisp skin.
Roast the ducks early on the day you
plan to serve them. Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place the garlic and the salt in a bowl.
Rub the mixture with your fingertips to extract the garlic oils and flavor.
Rub until the salt is moist and has picked up the garlic essence. Remove
and discard garlic pieces. Add the remaining seasonings and mix well,
rubbing with your fingertips until all the ingredients are thoroughly
blended. Sprinkle the inside cavity of the ducks with this mixture.
Place the ducks on a rack in a large
roasting pan. Roast for approximately two hours, or until the ducks are
completely cooked. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Remove the breasts, with the skin on,
in one piece from each side of the ducks. Remove the legs. Cover and refrigerate
For natural sauce:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Chop roasted duck carcasses into 2-to3-inch
pieces. Remove the rack form the roasting pan and pour off the excess
fat. Return the chopped bones to the roasting pan, along with the uncooked
necks, gizzards, and hearts. Place the pan in the oven and brown the bones,
Add carrots, celery, and onions to the pan and return to the oven for
10 minutes, stirring often. Remove pan from the oven and add the rest
of the ingredients. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the
roasting pan. Transfer to a large, heavy-bottomed stockpot and bring to
a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours,
skimming often. Strain the stock into another heavy-bottomed saucepan.
Reduce over medium heat to one quart of sauce. Strain through cheesecloth
or a very fine sieve. Season to taste and set aside.
Preheat oven to 450°F. Reheat the ducks in oven for about 10 minutes.
Place under broiler if necessary to crisp the skin. Reheat sauce. To serve,
slice breast meat and arrange on serving plates with the legs. Surround
plate with sauce.
Wine Pairing: A red from the Southern Rhone such as the Domaine de la Janasse
Chateauneuf-de Pape 2000