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Old 12-24-2014, 01:23 PM   #1
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ISO domestic Duck advice...

I've never cooked a duck, but we bought a frozen one from the grocery and I'll be cooking it one day soon. I'd appreciate some advice from the duck experts here.

I really enjoy Chef John's videos from Food Wishes, but I'd appreciate your opinion on it.

Cooking Duck - How to Cook and Carve Duck - Duck Breast Video
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Old 12-24-2014, 02:22 PM   #2
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I think it's a good idea to separate the parts. I disagree completely that you should skin the breasts!

When I cook duck breasts I do it with the skin on. Use a sharp knife to cut a cross hatch pattern in the skin. Cut into the skin but not into the meat. Make the cuts between 1/4" and 1/2" apart. Place the breast(s) skin side down in a skillet over medium heat and let the fat render and the skin crisp. You may want to spoon off some of the fat as it renders. Most of the cooking is done on the skin side to render off the fat. Then a quick sear on the other side and you are done. I cook them to medium.
Let them rest then serve as is our pre-sliced.

You can do the legs as he said, they don't have as much fat as the breasts.

Save the duck fat. It's kitchen gold.
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Old 12-24-2014, 02:54 PM   #3
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I've never done domestic ducks.

I've only done wild but I like to roast the whole duck on a rack at high heat.

Crispy skin is wonderful and a hot oven is good for that.

Keep an eye on temperature and don't overcook.

For seasoning simple S&P is how I go. I want the bird to speak for itself.

Good luck with however you decide to prepare it.
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Old 12-24-2014, 04:22 PM   #4
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This method works really well for me:

The Best Way to Roast a Duck (Hello, Crispy Skin!) | The Hungry Mouse

Or you can part it out and sear the breasts and confit the legs..
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Old 12-24-2014, 04:52 PM   #5
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Fruit sauces are really good with duck. I like cherry sauce with shallots and balsamic vinegar.
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Old 12-24-2014, 11:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
I think it's a good idea to separate the parts. I disagree completely that you should skin the breasts!

When I cook duck breasts I do it with the skin on. Use a sharp knife to cut a cross hatch pattern in the skin. Cut into the skin but not into the meat. Make the cuts between 1/4" and 1/2" apart. Place the breast(s) skin side down in a skillet over medium heat and let the fat render and the skin crisp. You may want to spoon off some of the fat as it renders. Most of the cooking is done on the skin side to render off the fat. Then a quick sear on the other side and you are done. I cook them to medium.
Let them rest then serve as is our pre-sliced.

You can do the legs as he said, they don't have as much fat as the breasts.

Save the duck fat. It's kitchen gold.
YES! To ALL of this!

A duck isn't like preparing a chicken. The breasts are best served medium rare(IMO), legs make an exceptional confit. Rendered skin=fat to fry potatoes, or anything really. The carcass, rubbed with some tomato paste, and on a bed of mirepoix, roasted off makes for the beginning of amazing stock.

When paying good money for a nice duck, treat it as so.
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Old 12-25-2014, 10:04 AM   #7
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ISO domestic Duck advice...

I've never cooked duck, but watched Alton Brown's Good Eats last week. He spatchcocked his duck, cutting out the backbone, and cooked it breast side down as I recall. High heat first to render the fat, then turned it down. He left all the skin on and saved the rendered fat to cook potatoes.
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Old 12-25-2014, 10:34 AM   #8
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I have only cooked duck once.
It was an interesting experience.
The tale was related when I first joined D.C.
Rendezvous Duck
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Old 12-25-2014, 10:42 AM   #9
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I've cooked a lot of wild duck. I've only cooked domestic duck twice. All of the advice from TattRat and AndyM is good. Given the price of duck, I'd go all out and definitely render the fat.
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Old 12-25-2014, 10:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoot View Post
I have only cooked duck once.
It was an interesting experience.
The tale was related when I first joined D.C.
Rendezvous Duck

Hoot, that story always cracks me up!
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