I am rarely ever stopped by TSA screening agents at airport security, but when I am it's usually for something interesting. One time it was my tefillin (phylacteries, if you will), which I wear every weekday during morning prayers. The agent thought them to be some sort of weapon or explosive. The last time I was called over by TSA, however, was for a frozen duck, which I was toting along in my carry-on luggage. I had purchased it at a great price at a supermarket in New York and was bringing it back home to prepare for a special occasion. The rib cage of the bird showed up in the x-ray machine and caught the attention of one of the the TSA agents on duty. He called me over, opened my bag, and pulled out the bird. He gave me a strange look as I began explaining the price difference between kosher duck in New York and Atlanta. He looked at me, then at the duck, and then back at me and said somewhat quizzically "I guess we allow duck. Go ahead." and I proceeded to my gate. Anyway, the duck made it back to Atlanta safely (and still frozen) where it remained in the freezer awaiting a special occasion. The most ironic part of the story is that shortly after I got back home, I did actually find kosher duck in one of the local supermarkets for the same price I paid in New York. Go figure. At least it makes for a great story.
This classic roasted duck boasts an awesome flavor profile with delectable notes of smoky bourbon, robust dark brown sugar, and fragrant citrus. It's a perfect winter poultry dish. The key to getting a desired crispy skin is a dry duck. Pat ducks with a paper towel before, during, and after refrigerating. Store uncovered in the back, coldest part of your fridge for up to two days ahead. Enjoy, y'all.
Remove giblets from ducks, and reserve for another use. Rinse ducks, and pat dry with paper towels. Remove excess fat and skin. Tie legs together with kitchen string; chill, uncovered, for up to 48 hours.
Preheat oven to 450°F. Let ducks stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Prick legs, thighs, and breasts with a fork. Rub ducks with salt and black pepper, and place, breast side up, on a wire rack in an aluminum foil-lined jelly-roll pan. Place baby potatoes and onion on the bottom of the pan. Bake 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, stir together orange marmalade and next 5 ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring often, 10 to 15 minutes or until reduced to about 1 cup.
Remove ducks from oven, carefully spoon fat from pan and transfer potatoes to another pan. Brush ducks with orange marmalade glaze. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F, and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 180°F. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.