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Roasting a moulard duck?


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I searched all of eG for a similar topic and didn't find one, so here we go:

 

I have to feed 4 adults and possibly 3 young kids for Christmas dinner. We've decided on roast duck, and instead of 2 Pekin ducks, I have an approximately 8lb Moulard available. So I have two questions:

 

1. Would an 8lb Moulard duck be good for that many people? I've done some research and it seems that per pound, there is more meat on them than a Pekin.

2. I want to roast it whole rather than parting it out. Is low-and-slow my move? I've seen recipes for roast duck all over the map, from 60-90 minutes at 400 or 450F, or 4 hours at 250F. Low and slow makes more sense to me for fat-rendering purposes, but there seems to be no consensus.

 

Thanks!

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I haven't done a moulard myself, but with poultry the usual rule is that the bigger the bird, the better the yield. I think it's probably safe for that many people.

 

As for cooking method I'd probably low and slow for most of the cook, with a blast to crisp the skin at the end, but that's just an educated guess. Think of the crisping and cooking as separate activities and use your best judgement.

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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Many years ago, my father and I had a multi-month long "duck-off" where we made competing versions of whole roasted ducks.  The best way, by far was a real pain, but worked really well.  I gave it a short dunk in boiling water - maybe about 5, 10 minutes or so (it started boiling, but only got back to a simmer by the time I took it out.)  After I let it drain, and then air dry on a rack in teh refrigerator for 3 days.  Then a low/slow roast.  Most of the fat was rendered, the skin was crispy, and the meat was good.

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to get the crispy skin, the recipes that I tried required air drying in the fridge. Many Chinese recipes have the technique. In Phoenix Claw and Jade Tree (cook book), they also used a water bath. I tried it and the taste was very good. good luck. pics and a description of your results would be much appreciated. 

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On 12/15/2020 at 5:19 PM, Okanagancook said:

I am going to try this two stage method with my duck.  Looks interesting.

 

https://www.nigella.com/recipes/roast-duck-with-orange-soy-and-ginger

 

Yes, but how does she pronounce "duck?"

 

On 12/15/2020 at 5:14 PM, chromedome said:

I haven't done a moulard myself, but with poultry the usual rule is that the bigger the bird, the better the yield. I think it's probably safe for that many people.

 

As for cooking method I'd probably low and slow for most of the cook, with a blast to crisp the skin at the end, but that's just an educated guess. Think of the crisping and cooking as separate activities and use your best judgement.

 

I'd definitely go this way as well. Might not even have to blast it too much. (I'm thinking like 275F, the same temp I do legs at).

 

I don't know what the 3 young kids are eating, nor what else is being served, but I might roast a couple of extra legs to be on the safe side. They won't go to waste, even if they don't get eaten at this dinner.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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9 hours ago, scamhi said:

Cooking whole there is no way to get the breast and legs served at the correct temperature and both with crispy skin

 

Sure there is. I know people who like the breast on a big duck like this cooked to the same temp as the legs. Sorta like when you get a whole roast duck in Chinatown. 

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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2 minutes ago, weinoo said:

 

I think this is a better idea!

 

Yeah, and there are a lot more resources online for that! Though so many more methods to decide between.

Edited by Hassouni (log)
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I know this might not be what you are looking for, but after spending many years working on „my duck“, I now do legs & breasts, both sous vide. Convenient to prep, very reliable in taste & consistency and easily scalable. Pretty good sauce based on reduced bag juices & whatever tickles your fancy in an instant. 
In that case one leg (350-400 g) per adult (and per super hungry 7 yo, too), or about 2/3 of a 400g breast (all weights precook).

 

Edit to add: you can of course trim your whole bird(s) down, and get a free gallon of duck stock plus some duck carnitas out of your carcass ...

Edited by Duvel (log)
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13 hours ago, Duvel said:

I know this might not be what you are looking for, but after spending many years working on „my duck“, I now do legs & breasts, both sous vide. Convenient to prep, very reliable in taste & consistency and easily scalable. Pretty good sauce based on reduced bag juices & whatever tickles your fancy in an instant. 
In that case one leg (350-400 g) per adult (and per super hungry 7 yo, too), or about 2/3 of a 400g breast (all weights precook).

 

Edit to add: you can of course trim your whole bird(s) down, and get a free gallon of duck stock plus some duck carnitas out of your carcass ...

Yup. Me  too.  reproducible and worry free.

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On 12/15/2020 at 2:19 PM, Okanagancook said:

I am going to try this two stage method with my duck.  Looks interesting.

 

https://www.nigella.com/recipes/roast-duck-with-orange-soy-and-ginger

This turned out almost exactly as I imagined.  I dry, dry tough roast duck with fairly crispy skin.  The orange, soy ginger sauce is interesting....not really sweet, not really salty.

Anyway, I will be making stock tomorrow.

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Ok. Results are in. Based on lots of synthesis of various online roast duck recipes, I went for about 3.5 hours, roasting at 300, flipping 3 times and poking lots of holes to drain fat. Then I turned the heat up to 450 to get dat crispy skin. I served it with the sauce from Serious Eats’s duck à l’orange recipe, which was a huge hit 
 

The ducks were very well done but not dry at all. The skin was superbly thin and crispy. Everyone was full of compliments. Next time I may do the first stage at 250 though, but honestly even at 3+ hours at 300 there was still a lot of fat to render in order to get crispy skin. 
 

In all, It was enough for 4 adults, 1 hungry 9 year old, and two not super hungry younger kids, with a little bit leftover. 
 

As a bonus, just from the roast, I got about 1.25 quarts of amazing duck fat, as well as lots of fat to roast potatoes in. I tried rendering the trimmed skin and excess fat and got about a pint, but I burnt it and threw it out. Shame.

 

1B1A6AAD-3312-43A3-8EB0-F630D849CAFC.jpeg
 

 

 


 

(Sabred Veuve is just how we roll on Christmas)

6B5E9D01-60F7-43F3-AF99-E7A6123323C4.jpeg

 

 

Edited by Hassouni (log)
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Pekin. The decision was (probably rightly) made that 13+ lbs of Pekin would be better than 8 lbs of Moulard for the number of people we had. I got them from Joe Jurgielewicz, which, true to name is a tasty duck, but also a VERY fatty duck, just to warn those interested.

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8 hours ago, Hassouni said:

The ducks were very well done but not dry at all.

 

This is my point with duck exactly...to those who say you can't have a roast duck and properly cooked breast and leg meat, it all depends on how you both cook your duck and like your duck. When I (too often) see chefs and home cooks alike serving blood rare duck breast, I want to tell them that fire was invented for a reason.

 

8 hours ago, Hassouni said:

I tried rendering the trimmed skin and excess fat and got about a pint, but I burnt it and threw it out. Shame

 

I don't know if you did, but next time start the skin and excess fat in a pot of water and let it cook really slow. You should be able to get there before it burns.

 

 

Edited by weinoo (log)
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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

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3 hours ago, weinoo said:

I don't know if you did, but next time start the skin and excess fat in a pot of water and let it cook really slow. You should be able to get there before it burns.

 

I did add water, but I think I set the heat too high. I was going by the appearance of the cracklings, by the time the fat hat all rendered out of them, they were bitter and acrid.

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1 hour ago, Hassouni said:

 

I did add water, but I think I set the heat too high. I was going by the appearance of the cracklings, by the time the fat hat all rendered out of them, they were bitter and acrid.

@Okanagancook's technique looks practically foolproof, but doesn't mention the cracklings, which are all important! The duck confit on salad we're having for dinner might just have to have a few sprinkled on the greens!

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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