Serves 6 – 8
1 duck (5 pounds)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 can (16 ounces) sweet cherries, drained, syrup reserved
½ cup red wine
1 tablespoon potato starch
¼ cup cold water
Sprinkle duck inside and out very lightly with salt, pepper and ginger a day ahead of the actual cooking so that the seasonings have time to penetrate.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put the duck in a roasting pan. Prick the skin of the duck with a fork to let the fat drain out during the roasting. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and pour off all the fat. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees and cook 15 minutes, then drain off the accumulated fat once again. Continue to cook for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Heat the reserved cherry syrup in a small saucepan. Baste the duck with a few teaspoons of the heated syrup every 15 minutes while the duck is in the final roasting period. Add the drained cherries to the wine. Place the cherries in the wine in a small saucepan and cook for about 3 minutes.
Remove the duck to a platter. Add the wine and cherries and any remaining syrup to the drippings in the roasting pan. Tip the pan back and forth so that the wine and cherries blend with the juices in the pan. Blend the potato starch and water in a small dish, add to the mixture in the roasting pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the mixture has thickened. Serve with the duck.