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Old 01-18-2009, 02:23 PM   #1
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ISO help thawing, refrigerating, cooking, and reheating duck

I just picked up 2 frozen ducks. I have never worked with duck before. I am planning on serving it friday evening. I will probably need to pre-cook it and reheat it. When and how should I thaw it? How should I cook it? How should I reheat it? Also one is about 3.5lbs and the other about 4.5lbs. How many adults do you think that will server at a meal with an app., another protien 2 starches and a hot an cold veg?

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Old 01-18-2009, 05:54 PM   #2
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Put your frozen ducks in the fridge - on plates in case they "leak" while defrosting. Depending on how cold your fridge is (I keep mine in the 30's), they should be completely thawed by Wed./Thurs. Even if they thaw out a little earlier, they'll still be fine & fresh for cooking Friday.

As far as cooking it - have you looked at any recipes or have any in mind? If not, I suggest simply roasting them. Unfortunately, precooking & reheating duck is something I can't help you with as far as guests are concerned. While I frequently roast duck & reheat the leftovers in the microwave, I already know that I'll be losing some of the signature crispness of the skin, but I personally don't mind that. Guests might. Also, reheating in the oven (again, for guests) can result in meat that's too dry. But perhaps some restaurant chefs on here can help you with that problem.

I never carve ducks - I cut them with poultry shears into quarters, so 2 ducks would feed 8 people if I were cooking them. But frankly, I'm confused by your menu. What is the other "protein, the "2 starches", & the "hot and cold veg". Knowing your full menu would help a lot re: how you should go about this.
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Old 01-18-2009, 07:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyCooking View Post
Put your frozen ducks in the fridge - on plates in case they "leak" while defrosting. Depending on how cold your fridge is (I keep mine in the 30's), they should be completely thawed by Wed./Thurs. Even if they thaw out a little earlier, they'll still be fine & fresh for cooking Friday.

As far as cooking it - have you looked at any recipes or have any in mind? If not, I suggest simply roasting them. Unfortunately, precooking & reheating duck is something I can't help you with as far as guests are concerned. While I frequently roast duck & reheat the leftovers in the microwave, I already know that I'll be losing some of the signature crispness of the skin, but I personally don't mind that. Guests might. Also, reheating in the oven (again, for guests) can result in meat that's too dry. But perhaps some restaurant chefs on here can help you with that problem.

I never carve ducks - I cut them with poultry shears into quarters, so 2 ducks would feed 8 people if I were cooking them. But frankly, I'm confused by your menu. What is the other "protein, the "2 starches", & the "hot and cold veg". Knowing your full menu would help a lot re: how you should go about this.
Going to start with chicken soup, other protien is a deli roll(cold cuts rolled in puff pastery), green beans, and a lettuce based salad, a rice dish and a potato dish.
When roasting the ducks what temp would you suggest to cook it at, and what temp should I cook it to? Should I add any aromatics spices or seasoning?
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:19 PM   #4
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Dan - you definitely need to do a websearch on roasting duck to see what options appeal to you. There are too many variables to list here. These days I normally roast duck on an indoor rotisserie, & if I do roast it in the oven, I usually use Julia Child's "steam-roasting" method, which requires precooking/braising to release some of the fat, followed by a skin-crisping in the oven. Regardless of the method you choose, just be aware that ducks release a LARGE amount of fat, so you have to be careful while cooking & handling it.

As far as "aromatics, spices, or seasoning", that will depend on how you end up roasting it. The only thing I will say is that I never stuff duck with any usual stuffing - normally will just stuff it with lemon & fresh herbs, or orange quarters (if I'm doing Duck with Orange Sauce), or an oriental rub if I'm doing it that way. Like I said - there are way way too many variables here. It would take pages of typing. You need to do some websearching to see what appeals to you.
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