Lavender Honey Duck/ Canard au Miel
After Bon Appétit and Soleil Restaurant, Tucson
4 tsp packed fresh lavender blossoms or 2 tsp dried
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 ½ tsp coarse sea salt
¼ tsp Black Peppercorns
One 6 to 6 ½ duck, fresh or thawed
1 c home made or canned low salt chicken broth
3 tbsp dry red wine
4 tbsp lavender or orange flower honey
4 toasted baguette slices
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Finely grind half of the lavender blossoms, and all of the thyme, sea salt and peppercorns in spice and grinder or with mortar and pestle. Remove the fat deposits and giblets from the duck cavity, reserving the liver. Trim excess skin and fat from the neck area. Rinse inside and out; pat dry. Cutting through the skin and fat (but not flesh) of breasts, score in crisscross pattern. Rub inside and out with herb mixture; return duck liver to cavity.
Place duck, breast side up, on rack in roasting pan. Roast 2 hours. Remove from oven. Increase oven temp to 375 degrees F. Transfer duck to plate. Pour pan juices into 4 cup glass measuring cup; spoon off fat. Return juices and 1 tablespoon of fat to pan. Add broth and wine. Return duck to pan. Brush with 2 tbsp honey.
Roast duck 20 minutes, basting once with pan juices. Brush with 2 tbsp honey; sprinkle with 1 tsp fresh or ½ tsp dried lavender. Roast duck until deep golden and thermometer inserted into the thinnest part of the high registers 180 degrees; about 5 minutes longer.
Transfer duck to platter. Remove liver; mash finely in small bowl. Spread liver over baguette slices. Add remaining lavender to roasting pan. Place over medium heat. Boil juices until thick enough to coat spoon, whisking often, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. Slice duck and serve with baguette slices and pan juices.