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DanM

Using Every Bit of a Whole Duck

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I've also been thinking about working with a whole duck lately. My main goal is to make duck confit. How much fat will one duck render? Enough to cook and store both legs with thighs attached completely submerged in fat? Or will I need to obtain additional duck fat?

And I saw mentioned above doing stock in a crock pot - that's an interesting idea. Are there are any special tricks to it? I assume you roast off your bones and veg in the oven first as normal, and then just put it into the crockpot instead of a low simmer on the stove?

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I just bought a duck. I mean A whole duck!

The only missing part were the feathers.

I will be using every part of it.

dcarch

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A duck is not always a duck suitable for serving rare duck breasts. I find that usually only the Muscovy or Moulard aged breasts are suitable, notably those sold by Hudson Valley. I have purchased many ducks, most of them the Pekin or Long Island variety and while certainly suitable for roasting whole or cassoulet or such, not for duck breast. I just took apart a 6# free range Pekin sourced from a local farmer with a great fat layer. I get ducks geese, chickens and turkeys, all fresh from this farm for many years. Once in a while I can even get a few real pen raised Mallards. The breasts were served traditionally, seared and roasted rare with the skin on and the rest of the duck skin rendered, the carcass used for stock and the rest in a nice cassoulet. But whether i purchase frozen at some cheap price point or farm raised at an expensive price the Pekin just does not make good duck breast in my experience.-Dick

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A duck is not always a duck suitable for serving rare duck breasts. I find that usually only the Muscovy or Moulard aged breasts are suitable, ---------- But whether i purchase frozen at some cheap price point or farm raised at an expensive price the Pekin just does not make good duck breast in my experience.-Dick

Can you be a little more specific?

Not suitable in what way? Taste? tenderness? etc?

dcarch

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Tenderness.

I sear the skin side and put the pan into a 500F degree oven and then rest for at least 10-15 minutes depending on the size of the breast to get a nice rare, not blood raw but pink.

Invariably the Pekin duck breast is not anywhere approaching the tenderness of an aged breast of a Muscovy/Moulard. I also choose duck breast quite a lot at a restaurant that I know will cook it correctly and usually the breast is very tender.-Dick

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Just is case anyone gets a duck with feathers sometime.. :rolleyes: ..here is the way to make plucking a breeze.

Boil up a pot of water, add some parrafin wax and melt. Dip the whole duck into the water and hold it there for a minute, then dunk it straight into a bucket of cold water. Leave in the cold water for 3-4 minutes. The wax sets really hard and the feathers all come off encased in the wax. An easy and clean method.

It is duck shooting season here very soon, and dawn and dusk are deafening times of the day. I am preparing myself. :biggrin:

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