When most people hear the word “Thanksgiving”, they probably think about pumpkin, stuffing, pecan pie, and, of course, turkey. When I hear “Thanksgiving”, I immediately think of duck! Sure, my Auntie Ellen’s stuffing was epic, my Dad’s cranberry sauce was tart, and there was always a succulent roast turkey on the table, but when I picture the festive Thanksgiving table of my childhood, I see my Grandmother’s mouth-watering sweet and sour duck. With its crispy skin, tender flesh and sweet orange flavor, that duck was our centerpiece on Thanksgiving and I’ve tried to continue the tradition at my own families table.
Raspberry Plum Preserve Ingredients
you can use your favorite fruits and preserves for this recipe
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup fresh plums, chopped
1/2 cup lychee preserve
1 cup orange juice
1 cup apple juice
4 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Pressure Cooker Ingredients
1 whole duck, cleaned and giblets removed
1 orange, sliced
1 onion, sliced
2 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
I started by making the preserves, which needed the most time to cook. I added all of the ingredients to a pot and simmered over medium heat for 45 minutes, until most of the liquid was absorbed and the sauce was thick. I stirred the mixture occasionally so the fruit wouldn’t burn. Let me just say that my house smelled incredible, like plums and cinnamon!
I set the preserve aside to cool and began work on the gorgeous duck. I filled the bottom of my pressure cooker with around 4-5 cups of water and added the orange, onion, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves.
I placed the raw duck in the steamer basket attachment and placed it on top of the above ingredients. I closed the pressure cooker, placed it over medium heat and once the pressure indicator was hissing, I cooked the duck for 25 minutes.
Once the duck was ready to be removed from the pressure cooker, I placed it on a cutting board and carefully carved the meat from the bones. I had to watch a few videos since I had absolutely no idea what I was doing and I didn’t want to waste any of the delicious salty meat. I think I did a great job but it’s so sad to see how little meat really comes off of one whole duck! TIP: save and refrigerate the water from the bottom of the pressure cooker, which is now filled with delicious dripping fat from the duck. Once cooled, skim off the layer of white duck fat, melt in the microwave, then save in ice cube trays in the freezer for later use. I plan to use my duck fat in matzoh balls!
I placed the duck slices in a roasting pan, glazed with the raspberry plum sauce and cooked in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
The skin on the duck (which is really the best part, isn’t it?!?) came out of the oven crispy and sweet and the beautiful meat was juicy and supple. You could just pull it right off the bone! I can’t wait to make it again in a few weeks for my family on Thanksgiving.