Roast Duck with Dried Cherry Sauce
Tired of the same old turkey on the holiday table? This could be the year to switch to duck. It's easy to cook and practically impossible to dry out-it stays moist and reheats well (see Tip). Almost all the fat is under the skin and drips off during cooking. We serve the duck with an incredibly rich-tasting gravy, adding port and dried fruit to a giblet stock for sophistication in seconds.
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 4. Let ducks cool. Carve and place in a 9-by-13-inch pan. Top with sauce. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To reheat, cover with foil and bake at 350°F for 25 to 35 minutes.
Tip: If using frozen ducks, be sure to allow enough time for thawing. Plan on 2 days to thaw ducks in the refrigerator.
Why a Duck?
Almost defying overcooking, duck is a secret choice of seasoned cooks who want to enjoy their guests rather than hovering near the oven. However, while French cooks cherish duck fat, it raises health concerns among North Americans. Curiously, about half the fat in a duck is of the beneficial monounsaturated type. Cooked skinless duck breast is actually leaner than chicken breast without skin and has less than half the saturated fat of pork tenderloin or beef round roast.
1/2 fruit, 3 lean meat