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Old 12-28-2006, 10:25 PM   #1
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I need advice on cooking a duck

I went and bought us a duck. Should have done it AFTER I got some good advice and good recipes.

It's a full duck, not parts. I just need to know temperature, and length of time, and which spices would be best. I want to keep it real simple on my first test.

If it quacks when I open the package tomorrow, it will NOT be cooked. ROFL I won't get near it. LoL

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Old 12-29-2006, 07:12 AM   #2
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Duck is wonderful, but extremely fatty. It's much better to prepare a whole duck than parts, so good for you for getting the whole bird.

Cut an orange in half and stuff it into the cavity, along with some thyme, rosemary and sage sprigs. Fresh herbs are best, here.

I hope you have a roasting rack. Place the rack into a roasting pan and prick the duck all over with a fork, making sure to go into the fat. Boil 4 cups of water. Pour the boiling water over the duck as it is in the roasting pan.

Roast it, uncovered 350 degrees till the flesh reaches a temperature of 165.

I don't season the bird before I cook it because it oozes so much fat during the cooking process that it all runs off, anyway.

A vanilla sage sauce is wonderful with the duck.

Clean your oven the next day. It will need it.
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Old 12-29-2006, 07:37 AM   #3
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That's what I heard about a duck, how fatty it is. But I love duck and tired of buying it in a restaurant, wanted to try it myself. I figured it couldn't be too too hard, I can do chicken and turkey. LoL Thanks Verablue. :-)
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Old 12-29-2006, 09:33 AM   #4
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Bravo to you for making the effort. Duck is fantastic!

There IS a lot of fat on a duck, but it's all in a layer between the skin and meat so it's easy to deal with.
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Old 12-29-2006, 09:40 AM   #5
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You might look up Ina Garten's recipe. I'll try also. She parboils the duck to get rid of some of the fat (and saves it, of course) prior to roasting it. My mother made a wonderful roast duck pricking as has been suggested but it was a smokey fatty mess.
A number of TV chefs, including Ming, I think, are doing the pre-boiling thing.

Recipes : Roast Duck : Food Network

Personally I would make confit and cassoulet from it.
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Old 12-29-2006, 09:47 AM   #6
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while it is an absolutely delicious meat (i do mine with sliced lemons/limes or apples, small onions, and herbs in the cavity like verablue), boy is your house gonna smell of duck fat.

i am forbidden to cook it in my house ever again.

the last time i made it, i had to hook up the showtime rotisserie outdoors under the apple tree.

btw, the apples and onions cooked in the bird are delicious.
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Old 12-29-2006, 09:47 AM   #7
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Alton Brown also par boils it then finishes in a screaming hot oven to crisp the skin. I haven't tried that method.
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Old 12-29-2006, 12:56 PM   #8
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Alton sure knows his stuff.

I have yet to try duck, what is it's flavor akin to (if anything?) I have had Foi Gras a bunch of times, and a lot fo quail/pheasant.. does it have a gamey taste?
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Old 12-29-2006, 01:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stinemates
Alton sure knows his stuff.

I have yet to try duck, what is it's flavor akin to (if anything?) I have had Foi Gras a bunch of times, and a lot fo quail/pheasant.. does it have a gamey taste?
Well, it definitely has a poultry like flavour, but it's all dark meat. I find it's reminicient of goose, actually, with just a bit more subtlty.
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Old 12-29-2006, 01:21 PM   #10
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If you have cinnamon, star aniseed, cloves, galangal and soya sauce available, you could braise it Chinese-style.
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Old 12-29-2006, 01:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stinemates
does it have a gamey taste?
No it doesn't. Well at least the duck I have eaten has never tasted gamey. It is a delicious bird, that is for sure!
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Old 12-29-2006, 02:36 PM   #12
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And when grilling a duck breast it is the one kind of poultry that I will eat rare. In that case, it tastes a lot like steak!
The other plus for parboiling the duck and getting the fat is that you can use it, unlike the fat that will cook out as it roasts since this will be pretty burned. Duck fat for cooking potatoes is TDF.
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Old 12-30-2006, 08:13 AM   #13
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Pouring off the fat (or suctioning it) as it cooks helps.
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Old 12-31-2006, 08:06 AM   #14
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I made it. :-) It tasted good. TOO MANY BONES!!! lol
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Old 12-31-2006, 10:35 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gossie
I made it. :-) It tasted good. TOO MANY BONES!!! lol

Not sure what that means. Pretty much the same as chicken.
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Old 12-31-2006, 11:39 AM   #16
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Smoked duck is delicious also...over indirect heat...with your favorite wood.
and then spit roasted over an open fire is nice too.
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Old 12-31-2006, 12:38 PM   #17
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We eat roast duck: With a fresh dressed duck, stuff the cavity with sections of apples; salt and pepper duck on all sides; pour in 1 cup of water in bottom of foil lined roasting pan; place duck (breast side up) on roasting rack in roasting pan; roast in 350 degrees for about 2 hours or until leg can be jiggled easily and you can see the skin moving with the leg. Remove from heat; let stand for 10 minutes; cut and serve on platter.. Serve with homemade applesauce.
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Old 12-31-2006, 01:29 PM   #18
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If your food smells up your house, think seriously about getting proper ventilation. A fan vented outside with greese trap will do your cooking wonders...even better if attached to a hood over your stove.

Duck is wonderful. and if you don't to deal with the grease, take the breast off the bone and braise over a mirepoix with red wine. crisp the skin in the oven. serve over wild rice pilaf.
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Old 12-31-2006, 02:49 PM   #19
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I've been buying frozen utility ducks for a great price. I've starting boning out the breasts (takes a bit of practice) and cooking them separately. The legs and thighs you can bone out also. Make them into empanadas or dumplings, or confit them. The bones make great stock for soup. And save every drop of the fat to fry stuff in.
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Old 12-31-2006, 04:57 PM   #20
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Actually, both ducks & geese have a higher bone-to-meat ratio than chicken or turkey, which is why I always try to buy the largest bird possible. While I used to do the pricking/steaming/boiling stuff like my mom, once I got my good old Ron Popeil rotisserie, all that went by the wayside. The first time I used it to roast a duck I was sure there would be so much fat drippage that it would catch on fire, but believe it or not, there wasn't much more fat drippage than from a chicken!! No smoke, no nothing. Just crispier than crisp skin & juicy greaseless meat. Absolutely FABULOUS!!

As for saucing, I've done the usual orange sauce, cherry sauce, spiced peaches, spiced apricots, & some Asian rubs. Duck is very very versatile.
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