Here is a fantastic whole roasted duck spiced with north african spices. The smokey duck pairs well with the spices, the apricot, the potato of course, and greens. The key or secrete to this is really how well you cook the duck. You shouldn’t be scared of cooking duck even though if it is your first time it can be intimidating but you just have to remember that it is only food. We make mistakes and we learn from them. Duck is a little forgiving because if you under cook it (medium rare-rare) you can always cook it a little more. You can eat duck medium rare, which I would recommend for the breast. The legs I would recommend more to the well done stage. So that is one plus. If you are comfortable with chicken you have an added bonus because they are in the poultry or fowl group. I explain in a more detailed instructions of how to cook this duck breast on the bone which is completely different than cooking it off the bone, seared in a pan (which you can look at my other duck recipes to see how that is done.) You have to baby the breast while cooking, just a little bit, to make sure you cook the skin and not burn it, but also not to over cook the meat. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Harissa Duck

2 whole Duck, breast still on the carcass, legs deboned and innards reserved

Harissa Spice

2 tbsp of cumin seed 

3 tbsp of coriander seed

1 tsp of caraway seed

1 tbsp of chili flakes 

2 tbsp of fresh parsley (1 tbsp if dried)

1 tbsp of fresh garlic minced 

Salt to taste 


Harissa Cheese

4 oz of fresh sheep’s milk ricotta 

2 tbsp of harissa paste


1 lb of yellow baby potatoes

3 tbsp of olive oil

salt to taste 

3 apricots cut in half and grilled 


1 bunch of heirloom spigarello broccoli greens 

For the Duck

I debone the legs of the duck and cut away the “tail” of the backbone with scissors so that you are left with the breasts still on the bone but not the whole carcass. Toast spices and grind coarsely in a spice grinder. Mix with garlic and rub it all over the duck breasts and legs. Season the duck aggressively with salt. Then place on the big green egg where the temperature is around 300-325 degrees. Place the duck legs skin side down. Place the duck breast (on the bone) skin side up. Let it cook for for about 15 minutes, then place the duck breast skin side down. You want to crispen up the duck breast skin without completely cooking the meat. To do this you have to have your heat not too hot and but hot enough to render that fat. (if your grill is too hot you will just burn the skin of the duck. If it is too low it won’t really be hot enough to render that skin down. I have found the temperature around 300-350 is probably close to where you need it). Let the breast cook for about 15-20 minutes. This should really start to brown your duck breast and crispin the skin lightly. You might need to flip the legs over by this time if they are looking golden brown and crispy. If not keep them on the skin side. If the duck breast look brown take it off the grill and let it rest on a sheet pan for 15-20 minutes. The meat should still be raw at this point. Then place the duck breast back on the grill skin side down and let it really brown and crispin the skin for another 15 or so minutes. At this point the duck breast is probably getting to that medium rare stage. Here I would take it off the grill again. If you have a meat themermator you could test the internal temperature and try to take it to the 120 range. When you take it off it will probably cook another 5 degrees which would take you to 125 degrees. Now before you are ready to serve your duck breast (not pictured in this post) all you have to do is either place it back on the grill for 7 minutes to get it hot and that last little sear or place in a 425 degree oven for 7 minutes. This should keep your duck internal temperature between 125-130 which is a medium rare-medium. For the legs the total time you want to cook them is 45-1 hour until the meat is tender all the way through and the skin is crisp. You want to let the duck rest a few minutes again before you carve it. Should look something like this.

Harrisa Duck.jpg

For the potatoes 

Preheat oven at 400 degrees.  In a roasting pan lay hay down in the bottom of the pan.  Drizzle potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Then place the potatoes in the roasting pan and place in the oven.  Cook in the oven for 25 minutes until the potatoes are just done.  Take out and let them cool to room temperature.  

For the apricots,

Drizzle lightly with oil and grill for 1-2 minutes until there is a nice grill mark on the apricots. Take out and set aside. (Can be done a la minute)

For the harrisa cheese,

Place harrisa paste and cheese in a small bowl mix well and set aside.

To Finish,

Place the duck legs and breast back on the grill (or oven) to heat up for 7 minutes. Take the liver, gizzards and heart (if desired) drizzle with a little oil salt and pepper and place on the grill. Cook for 3 minutes and then flip over and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Meanwhile in a small saute pan add 1 tbsp of butter with the spigarello greens. Cook for 3 minutes and then add 1/4 cup of water. Cook for another 5 minutes until there is no more water. Then place apricot, harissa cheese, potato, on the plate. Take the duck legs and cut the meat around the leg and slice 2-3 slices. Place on the plate along with a piece of the grilled liver. Take a slice of the breast (not shown in picture) and place it on the plate. Add the spigarello to the plate, serve and enjoy!


Duck, Harrisa , Apricot.JPG

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