Preheat the oven to 500ºF.
Sprinkle the duck all over with the salt and pepper. Remove all visible fat, and with a fork prick the skin all over without piercing the meat.
Place on a rack in a roasting pan and roast for 40 minutes. Reduce the oven heat to 400ºF and roast until the thigh juices run clear, for about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before using in other recipes. Or carve into 4 pieces and serve immediately.
Yield: 4 main-course servings