Aylesbury Duck Cooking Guidelines
1. The day before you plan to cook your duck, take it out of the packaging. Rinse inside and out with cool water and pat dry with paper towels. Place the duck, uncovered, in the refrigerator and leave overnight (at least 8 hours) to allow the skin to dry out. This step will help develop a crispier skin. When you're ready to cook, pull the duck out of the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature (about 1 hour) prior to cooking.
2. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut away excess fat from neck and cavity areas. Prick skin on all sides repeatedly with a fork, but avoid puncturing the meat. This will help the fat under the skin render and escape, making the finished product less oily.
3. Season the skin and inside the cavity heavily with kosher salt and fill the cavity with your favorite fresh herbs — we recommend rosemary, thyme, and sage. Place the duck on a rack, in a roasting pan, breast side up in the middle of the oven.
4. Rotate the roasting pan and drain the fat every 15 minutes to ensure even coloring of the skin. After 30 minutes at 425°F, reduce heat to 350°F for 30 minutes.
5. Avoid over cooking and remember the internal temperature will continue to rise once removed from the oven. Our chefs recommend removing ducks at 140°F and resting for at least 20 minutes before carving to reach a rested temperature of 165°F as recommended by the USDA.