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Duck: The Topic


Trishiad
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Hi there everyone!

My friend just gave me a duck that she found clearing out her freezer. Apparently she had too much food and had to get rid of some. :huh:

This duck dates from her abortive attempt to raise livestock in her (large) backyard. She gave up when she found the birds were breeding faster than she could keep up with. The birds were lovingly cared for and raised on organic feed and greenery.

Said duck is in my freezer at the moment, and is an older bird. The carcass lacks wings or skin (don't ask - apparently there was a bad plucking mishap), and I have no confidence in my duck cooking skills. In fact, I am at a complete loss as to how to proceed. :sad:

Should I braise it? If so, how, and what with? What if it proves to have that "muddy" flavour that some do, how do I get rid of that?

Help..?

" ..Is simplicity the best

Or simply the easiest

The narrowest path

Is always the holiest.. "

--Depeche Mode - Judas

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  • 2 months later...

So I know that this is topic has been apparently beaten to death recently, but I'm still not quite finding what I need. I have come into possession of a whole (almost) 5 lb Muscovy duck. At this point I'm not sure what I want to do with it. I'm open to any ideas. Any takers?

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The San Francisco Chronicle food section featured  duck recipes this week.

Some ideas from local chefs.

Welcome to eGullet, rwsweet!

Thanks for the great article. I'm probably going to do the "Shut Up" duck legs and cook the breasts separately. The more I think about it, it's pretty clear that my Muscovy duck won't be the best cooked whole.

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  • 4 months later...

I just found out that our supermarkets sell whole dressed duck. I am tempted to cook it but only have this cook it with - a turbo broiler convection oven.

Turbo Broiler oven

MarketMan has written about the turbo broiler...

Turbo Broiler

You guys think I can roast a whole duck ala Peking Duck style?

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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I just found out that our supermarkets sell whole dressed duck. I am tempted to cook it but only have this cook it with - a turbo broiler convection oven.

Turbo Broiler oven

MarketMan has written about the turbo broiler...

Turbo Broiler

You guys think I can roast a whole duck ala Peking Duck style?

my only concern would be that a duck is VERY fatty and as such, i wouldn't know how well the turbo oven would cope with the grease

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  • 1 year later...

What's better than a whole free-range duck for $9.00?

That same duck at half-price because, according to the vendor, it needs to be cooked or frozen within the next 48 hours:

gallery_42214_5579_206860.jpg

He's a little beat up but basically intact. I took the skin and legs off:

gallery_42214_5579_69352.jpg

The breasts got marinated in orange juice and olive oil for a future barbecue:

gallery_42214_5579_11080.jpg

The carcass, wings and legs went into the steamer while the breasts overnighted in the fridge. The cooked wing and leg meat was set aside and the steamer broth was filtered and frozen for a future soup. I chopped up the the cooked meat and mixed it with onions, garlic and bread crumbs to make a stuffing to be rolled in the skin -- which I think qualifies as a gallotine. I baked two skin-clad rolls at 375F until they looked golden and crisp.

The wife took my camera to her soccer game so there's no final reveal. :sad: One roll looked fine and sliced well, but the other one arched and contorted as it baked. I'll use string sutures and less stuffing next time.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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What's better than a whole free-range duck for $9.00?

That same duck at half-price because, according to the vendor, it needs to be cooked or frozen within the next 48 hours:

It is not the first time I notice that you often get incredible bargains... either you are a very good shopper or food in Halifax is very cheap. On the other hand I would be afraid to buy meat because "it needs to be cooked or frozen within the next 48 hours".

That being said, did you remove some of the fat from the skin before baking?

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It is not the first time I notice that you often get incredible bargains... either you are a very good shopper or food in Halifax is very cheap. On the other hand I would be afraid to buy meat because "it needs to be cooked or frozen within the next 48 hours".

That being said, did you remove some of the fat from the skin before baking?

It's always a balance between quality and price -- if it's strangely inexpensive you must ask yourself why? I could see from the time-stamped packaging that this duck came from Mike Oulton's farm in Windsor, NS less than an hour away from me. I know his farm well and when I see the retailers slashing prices to move the produce, well that's the time to pounce.

Like anywhere, some things here are a bargain (usually seafood) and others are not (beef, tropical fruit). Roll with the seasons, buy local and stay educated.

That being said, I left way too much fat attached to skin. I originally thought I'd roll the assembly over in the rendered duck fat in a skillet, sear up the seam, etc. I think I should've plopped the whole thing into a loaf pan.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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I've got three Lac Brome ducks in the freezer that I found on supersale. Those thighs are going to be confit for cassoulet; those breasts are going to be brined and smoked for duck ham; those carcases are going to be roasted and used for stock.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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It's always a balance between quality and price -- if it's strangely inexpensive you must ask yourself why? I could see from the time-stamped packaging that this duck came from Mike Oulton's farm in Windsor, NS less than an hour away from me. I know his farm well and when I see the retailers slashing prices to move the produce, well that's the time to pounce.

Like anywhere, some things here are a bargain (usually seafood) and others are not (beef, tropical fruit). Roll with the seasons, buy local and stay educated.

That being said, I left way too much fat attached to skin. I originally thought I'd roll the assembly over in the rendered duck fat in a skillet, sear up the seam, etc. I think I should've plopped the whole thing into a loaf pan.

It is the same balancing thing here. I guess I'm just jealous. In Ottawa, it is very hard to find fresh seafood, let alone anything cheap coming from the sea.

I like the idea of using the skin to wrap the bits of meat you can salvage from making your broth... I think I'll steal your idea... that means a lot of meals out of only one duck!

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It's always a balance between quality and price -- if it's strangely inexpensive you must ask yourself why? I could see from the time-stamped packaging that this duck came from Mike Oulton's farm in Windsor, NS less than an hour away from me. I know his farm well and when I see the retailers slashing prices to move the produce, well that's the time to pounce.

Like anywhere, some things here are a bargain (usually seafood) and others are not (beef, tropical fruit). Roll with the seasons, buy local and stay educated.

That being said, I left way too much fat attached to skin. I originally thought I'd roll the assembly over in the rendered duck fat in a skillet, sear up the seam, etc. I think I should've plopped the whole thing into a loaf pan.

It is the same balancing thing here. I guess I'm just jealous. In Ottawa, it is very hard to find fresh seafood, let alone anything cheap coming from the sea.

I like the idea of using the skin to wrap the bits of meat you can salvage from making your broth... I think I'll steal your idea... that means a lot of meals out of only one duck!

Finding good groceries at good prices is my idea of fun.

Our regional version of Loblaws (Canada's largest retailer ahead of WalMart and HBC) is Atlantic Super Store (ASS?). My store always has lots of 1/2 price red meat and poultry. It's usually smaller market stuff like lamb, goat and offal. Sometimes it's just to make shelf room for incoming orders.

If something looks and smells suspicious I won't touch it, especially seafood. Beef, on the other hand, is almost always underaged and actually gets better with time in my fridge.

I usually hit the markets 3 times a week so the "cook right away" thing works for me.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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  • 4 weeks later...
I made Steven Raichlen's Duckling La'Orange from his Beer Can Chicken book and it was the best preparation of duck I have had outside of a few restaurants.  The skin was crispy, the meat was juicy and had the right amount of orange flavor.  The Apricot Orange Sauce was the perfect accompiament.  You basically are roasting the duck upright on a beer can on a grill.  If you don't have a grill or don;t like grilling in the winter you could easily use the same technique in the oven.

You end up taking a "tall boy" beer can filling it with beer and orange soda. The steam from this mixture keeps the duck moist while the heat from the grill prefectly crisps the skin.  You need to poke holes in the skin before you cook it and about 45 minutes into the cooking time.  The result is a perfectly cooked duck with a crisy skin. 

I will likely try other preperations using the same technique. You could easily experiment with various rubs, marinades, and beer can ingredients.

The recipe is available for free on his website:

http://www.barbecuebible.com/featured/reci...ling_a_lora.php

I am going to try this tonight!

I have been yearning for duck lately

this really sounds good

anyone have any advice? should I steam it before I roast it (I am doing this in the oven instead of on the grill) temp ideas? or should I just follow the recipe as it is written?

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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  • 8 months later...

I just made the Amazing Five Hour Duck last night with a free range duck from a local farmer--it was fabulous!

It was more like a Four Hour Duck--this duck had less fat i think than supermarket ducks, and was thoroughly cooked at four hours--super crispy skin, nicely browned--lots of cracklings around the neck & tail for the chef. No more fat was cooking off at that point.

I roasted some carrots & potatoes in the drippings & fat, quartered the duck and glazed it with an Asian style hoisin based BBQ sauce--put the quarters on top of the veggies and finished the cooking.

Served with steamed broccoli--one of the best meals i've ever had. The meat pulled apart--it was stringy, and a little crispy in parts & tender in others. It was very flavorful--not dark or gamy tasting, but just full of duckishness. The skin was crisp, but not too greasy.

This was so easy, yet so good.

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I was at my parents' house over 4th of July weekend, along with my siblings and all of our spouses and kids. The meal of that Friday night was a duck a l'orange that my father made, where he removed the breasts and legs from the roasted ducks and placed them in a pan with the sauce under a broiler to crisp up the skin. It was quite good, but the best part was that I was afforded the opportunity to scrounge the carcasses for myself. We threw those and the giblets into the freezer for me to take home with me.

Last week I made a stock with all that I brought home, and we got quite a bit of extremely succulent meat from those bones after all was said and done (and some nice rich stock too). I used the meat to make duck and chile empanadas this week, though I imagine it would have made stellar ravioli as well.

aka Michael

Chi mangia bene, vive bene!

"...And bring us the finest food you've got, stuffed with the second finest."

"Excellent, sir. Lobster stuffed with tacos."

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Last week I made a stock with all that I brought home, and we got quite a bit of extremely succulent meat from those bones after all was said and done (and some nice rich stock too). I used the meat to make duck and chile empanadas this week, though I imagine it would have made stellar ravioli as well.

Yes, I bagged and froze the carcass--am looking forward to making stock with it--duck empanadas sound wonderful--I don't think i have enough meat to do this--we ate like vultures--so I will probably cook white beans in the stock...

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...I roasted some carrots & potatoes in the drippings & fat, quartered the duck and glazed it with an Asian style hoisin based BBQ sauce--put the quarters on top of the veggies and finished the cooking....

This sounds really good, but just to clarify, zoe- I am assuming you added the carrots and potatoes to the same roasting pan as the duck during maybe the last hour of cooking, after you had poured off a good portion of the fat in the pan? I did the same thing with a rib roast one time, but I think I added them too early, and hadn't poured off enough of the fat so the end result was too greasy for my tastes (and that's saying something :biggrin: ). I'll have to work on the timing a bit.

FWIW- I made the empenadas mostly because we were given these packages of pre-made dough rounds from a co-worker of my wife and wanted to try them. The brand is La Saltena, from Argentina, and the end result was so flaky and wonderful. I'm definitely going to use them again- plus, the whole process was so easy to assemble, and they really had a homemade quality. The duck meat was just in the right place at the right time.

aka Michael

Chi mangia bene, vive bene!

"...And bring us the finest food you've got, stuffed with the second finest."

"Excellent, sir. Lobster stuffed with tacos."

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  • 1 year later...

My wife and I made our first trip to Fairway in Stamford, CT this past weekend to see what the hype is about. One of my great finds was a fresh kosher whole duck. This is about as rare as a dog that speaks Norwegian. I have only seen ducks that have been frozen for who knows how long.

Now comes the fun part... The plan is to pan roast the breasts and confit the legs and thighs. I will be following Thomas Keller's instructions in Ad Hoc at Home for these two dishes. That leaves me with with the wings and carcass which I want to render for the fat and use the rest or stock. Whats the best way to do this? Should I roast it in a low oven to render the fat, remove the skin, and then stick the rest in a stock pot?

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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Good questions!

I like duck. One of my regular grocery stores used to have boneless duck breast available pretty regularly. Now, I don't ever see it. But I can buy a whole frozen duck. I've been thinking of buying a whole one to get not only duck breast, but also to get some legs.

Rick Bayless did a show where he made duck carnitas using legs. Essentially, it was duck confit, but instead of doing it in duck fat, he did it in lard. I could make that. Use the breasts for pan saute/roast. then use the caracass for something. Duck stock was an obvious choice, but I didn't think over rendering fat out of the body.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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No, don't roast to render the fat. I'd confit the wings as well (they work great as a flavoring agent for all sorts of other things).

You can remove whatever skin is left and render the fat in a saucepan, over low heat - cover the skin with water.

The bones - make stock.

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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I've always done it by removing the fatty tissues and the fattiest bits of skin, chopping them finely and rendering over low heat in a small saucepan. The (now skinless) carcass gets chopped up, goes into the over to brown, and is turned into stock. If you put the whole thing in the oven to render the fat, I think you'd risk burning it.

Duck stock is wonderful stuff!

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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The most efficient method I've found for rendering fat is Chris Amirault's emulsion method.

You'll want to strip as much skin and fat off the carcass as you can, then chill it -- cutting duck skin at room temperature is a slippery and potentially dangerous exercise.

As for the stock, James Peterson recommends (in his Duck Cookbook) roasting the wings and carcass with carrots, and onions at 500°F for an hour or so, stirring at the halfway point. Deglaze the roasting pan with chicken stock or water and add it to the stockpot along with the roasted bits. Proceed as usual for stock; Peterson says six hours at a minimum, and that overnight isn't too long. One carcass will yield about three cups of stock. But! When you've rendered and chilled your fat, you'll find about 1/4 of concentrated pink duck jelly at the bottom of the container. Make sure you retrieve that.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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