- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 (4- to 5-pound) whole ducks
- 1/2 cup orange marmalade
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Combine the salt and pepper in a small bowl; set aside.
- Remove and discard the necks from the ducks, rinse out the cavities, and pat them dry all over with paper towels.
- To halve the ducks, place 1 duck breast-side down on a cutting board. Using poultry shears, cut down both sides of the backbone.
- Remove and discard the backbone.
- Flip the duck over and cut through the center of the breastbone to separate it into 2 pieces.
- Cut through both wing joints where they connect to the breast to completely remove each wing (discard the wings or save them for another use).
- Repeat with the second duck.
- Heat a large frying pan over medium heat until hot, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, season all sides of the duck halves with the reserved salt and pepper mixture. When the pan is ready, place 2 of the duck halves in it skin-side down. Sear, occasionally pressing on the duck with a flat spatula (for even browning), until the skin is light golden brown, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, make the glaze.
- Place the marmalade, orange juice, and soy sauce in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Continue to simmer, adjusting the heat as needed, until thickened and reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- When the duck halves are ready, transfer them to a large roasting pan skin-side up. Pour any accumulated fat from the frying pan into a medium heatproof bowl. Repeat with the remaining 2 duck halves.
- Stir 2 tablespoons of the rendered duck fat into the reserved glaze (discard the remaining fat or save it for another use). Brush the duck halves with a third of the glaze and roast for 15 minutes. Brush with another third of the glaze and continue to roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 160°F, about 10 to 15 minutes more.
- Brush the ducks with the remaining third of the glaze. Turn the oven to broil and broil until the skin is dark golden brown and crisped, about 2 to 3 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.