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Delicious Duck

An-DAn-D EnthusiastAshevilleRegistered User regular
edited November 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
So, I'm on my own for the first time ever on Thanksgiving (no family) but I have some friends that are in the same situation, so we're getting together. Recently, the grocery store started carrying whole ducks, so in a moment of excited fervor, I purchased one with plans to cook it on the big day.

I fancy myself a pretty decent cook, but I have never prepared duck before.

I'm sure there are recipes online that I could find, but I have also never had duck outside of a restaurant, so I don't have much knowledge on what is good on/with it. Cooking-wise.

So, I'm looking for interesting/awesome ways to cook a 7lb duck. Also, are there any thing I should know about cooking duck? I have actually never cooked a full-bird before, so I guess I should look into that too.

Whatcha got for me, H/A?

An-D on

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    JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    The only good duck I have ever had is roasted wild duck.

    Big cast iron pot, stick some garlic in it in a few places, get a good gravy going.... serve over rice. Takes at least 5 hours to get it tender though.

    7 pounds is a huge fucking duck though. 7 pounds? really? The ducks I've had are like.... maybe .75 pounds. maybe.

    Jasconius on
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    An-DAn-D Enthusiast AshevilleRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Technically, its 6.41lbs, but I like rounding up. It was $14-ish and I'm super excited about making it delicious.

    So, just roast it? Any kind of spices or sauce I should put on it? Marinade?

    An-D on
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    VortigernVortigern Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    I have yet to actually do a duck, but I'll recommend Alton Brown recipes to anyone for almost anything.

    I also did a quick google search and Food Network popped up right off the bat. That's gotta be a good place to start from.

    Here's the link to my search there for "roast duck":

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/search/delegate.do?fnSearchString=roast+duck&fnSearchType=site

    Edit: Duck has a rep for being greasy, so something I've been told is to roast it on a rack, and prick the skin near the bottom to let grease run out of it. YMMV on this, but it makes some sense to me. Probably be useful for gravy later on too.

    Vortigern on
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    KivutarKivutar Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    I've had pretty good experiences with this recipe, but I'm sure there are numerous ways to roast a duck.

    I don't really have much to offer beyond that - I don't really prepare duck that often personally, like you, I've mostly eaten it in restaurants. If nothing else, Saveur has at least a few assorted roast duck recipes that may be worth looking through to glean information, regardless of whether or not you follow one.

    Upon second look, this recipe has a bit more explanation accompanying it. If you own a copy, Joy of Cooking also has a few paragraphs about preparing duck that may be worth a look.

    Kivutar on
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    Blake TBlake T Do you have enemies then? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    I posted this like 5 days ago in SE.

    Oh I can't remembered who asked for the recipe for the duck but here it is.

    I can't remmber who asked for it so I'll just spoiler and post it up in here. Out of politeness I will use heathen units while I can

    Eight spice Rub
    3/4oz Juniper Berries
    1oz whole star anise
    1/2oz white peppercorns
    1/2oz cinamon quills
    1/2oz whole colves
    3/4oz of salt (pink murray salt if you can get it)
    1/3oz cardamon pods
    pinch of saffron

    Grind everything together

    Toast, cool and store in an airtight container

    The Duck
    1 large free range duck
    8.5 floz pint of grand mariner or other orange liquer
    1 Tablespoons of 8 spice rub
    Salt and freshly ground white pepper
    8.5 floz fresh orange juice
    8.5 floz chicken stock
    1 tble spoon of cultured butter

    Remove neck, giblets and dry throughly.

    place duck on a cutting board breast side up and push down breaking the ribs to flatten it out. Stick in a pan and splash the grand mariner all over it and leave for a day.

    the next day

    Preheat oven to 450F

    Take the duck out of the pan (save the liquid in there)

    Stab the shit out of the duck with a skewer paying a lot of attention between the leg and breast then generously rub salt pepper and the eight spice powder all over the bird.

    Pop the duck onto the rack and stick trays underneath to collect the fat. EMPTY THIS EVERY 15 TO 20 MINUTES, I line the trays in case it starts to smoke you can take it out and replace it rather than dying from smoke inhalation.

    Cook for about 1.5 hours.

    For the veggies I usually just peel some potatos and sweet potato and boil for 10 minutes, throw in with 45 minutes to go with some pumpkin and carrots

    Let the duck rest for 10-15 minutes while you make the sauce.

    Grab some of the duck fat you drained and throw it in a pan with the duck trimmings from yesterday and throw in the grand mariner that you soaked it in. Cook this over a medium heat until it has reduce by half, add the orange juice reduce til it halves again then add chicken stock and butter and whisk over a high heat. Strain then serve with duck.

    Blake T on
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    An-DAn-D Enthusiast AshevilleRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Sweet. Those ideas look fantastic. I'm even more excited about this idea now.

    An-D on
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    ChenChen Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    You don't have to roast the duck. Braising works too.

    http://sunflower-recipes.blogspot.com/2008/09/braised-duck-with-plum-sauce.html

    Be aware that ducks have layers of fat. Prepare to get rid of a lot if you don't want the dish to be too greasy.

    Chen on
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    JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    I don't know about ducks being greasy. In my experience, they are perhaps the opposite, certainly far less greasy than chicken. Maybe a hair more than turkey.

    But it depends on your duck I guess. A corn fed farmed duck is going to have more fat on it.

    If you want to go another route, duck is used in thai cuisine (and probably chinese too), and I think they fry it.

    Jasconius on
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    Blake TBlake T Do you have enemies then? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Ducks are hugely fatty. It's why they are so delcious.

    The problem with duck is that you don't cook it correctly the layer of fat doesn't turn crispy and it becomes incredibly chewy.

    That recipe I posted needs the duck fat to be drained at least five times during cooking.

    Blake T on
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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Jasconius wrote: »
    The only good duck I have ever had is roasted wild duck.

    Big cast iron pot, stick some garlic in it in a few places, get a good gravy going.... serve over rice. Takes at least 5 hours to get it tender though.

    7 pounds is a huge fucking duck though. 7 pounds? really? The ducks I've had are like.... maybe .75 pounds. maybe.

    That's one tiny duck. Duckling even. Seven pounds sounds about right to me. Have you ever seen a duck?

    Esh on
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    SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2009
    Yeah, ducks are uber fatty. I guess it's because they're water fowl? So they need more fat to stay warm than a chicken or a turkey or a pigeon or a pheasant or you get the idea. But seriously delicious though. I love chicken as a go-to bird for all occasions or pheasant for something a little different and gamey but Duck is quite possibly the tastiest of all the birds.

    As for recipes, I guess you can't go wrong with a classic Crispy Peking Duck with hoisin sauce. Do the whole chinese pancake and strips of cucumber thing. I've never made one before but I believe they are relatively easy, especially if you just buy a jar of good quality hoisin suace.

    Szechuanosaurus on
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    JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Esh wrote: »
    Jasconius wrote: »
    The only good duck I have ever had is roasted wild duck.

    Big cast iron pot, stick some garlic in it in a few places, get a good gravy going.... serve over rice. Takes at least 5 hours to get it tender though.

    7 pounds is a huge fucking duck though. 7 pounds? really? The ducks I've had are like.... maybe .75 pounds. maybe.

    That's one tiny duck. Duckling even. Seven pounds sounds about right to me. Have you ever seen a duck?

    I've eaten tons of duck, theyv'e always been about 10 inches long, 6-7 inches wide, and certainly less than 2 pounds after being cooked.

    Some of them were mallards. I'm sure it depends on the species. But I've certainly never seen a goddamned 7 pound duck, much less one that was fatty.

    Jasconius on
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    Blake TBlake T Do you have enemies then? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Mallards are like the least common of table ducks.

    In my adventures of sourcing ducks I have yet to see one that is below 4.5 pounds.

    I mean .75 pounds is a pigeon?

    Blake T on
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    JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Maybe .75 is a slight exaggeration. MAYBE.

    But this is a picture of about the size of ducks I am used to... there's no way that's 7 pounds.
    roasted-wild-duck-fd2-lg.jpg

    Jasconius on
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    SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2009
    Jasconius wrote: »
    I'm sure it depends on the species. But I've certainly never seen a goddamned 7 pound duck, much less one that was fatty.

    Jasc, you are basically arguing in direct contradiction to reality. Fat is a fundamental property of Duck. The very nature of their life requires them to be fatty.
    Being waterfowl, ducks have a layer of heat-insulating subcutaneous fat between the skin and the meat.

    100gm of Duck has around 39g of fat compared to 100gm of Chicken which has around 16g of fat.

    As for weight, our supermarket sells whole ducks at 1kg (about 2.2lbs) up to 2.1kg (about 4.6lbs). Take that for what you will. 7lbs would sound like a bit of a monster, but there are several species of Duck, large and small and that would still be smaller than the smallest Turkeys by the looks of things.

    Szechuanosaurus on
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    JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Well then there are major regional differences between ducks. Because I've eaten numerous specimens from bow to stern, and i know I can't eat 4 pounds of meat in one sitting. And I know my family wasn't out in the marsh hunting pigeons thinking they were ducks for the last several decades.

    not that this is really on topic though

    Jasconius on
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    EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Vortigern wrote: »
    Edit: Duck has a rep for being greasy, so something I've been told is to roast it on a rack, and prick the skin near the bottom to let grease run out of it. YMMV on this, but it makes some sense to me. Probably be useful for gravy later on too.

    This is good advice, though you should still braise it often. Dry duck is worse than greasy duck.

    I'd stay away from strong marinades and instead serve it with a pureed fruit sauce. Raspberry or Apricot usually works well.

    Enc on
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    LardalishLardalish Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    You say you've never cooked a full bird, so are you locked into cookin it whole? If you are then these guys have the right idea, those all sound pretty delicious.

    Personally Id cut it into quarters (take the legs off at the hip and the breasts off, but leave the skin on!) and let them sit in a marinade of red wine (something you would like to drink if you do wine, but if not no worries, it will still taste delicious) sliced garlic, and rosemary sprigs. Several hours Id say, preferably overnight. You can save the bones, wrap em up and freeze em and make stock later if you want.

    When it comes to cooking it, strain the marinade and save the liquid, you can make a nice sauce out of it after you cook it, you wanna slit the skin in a crosshatch kinda way so the fat can render out and then just saute them suckers. Start em skin side down in a hot dry pan and let em stay till the skin is nice and crispy then flip em over to finish cooking. Duck is best around medium - medium rare in my opinion, which is around 130-135 F. So either use a thermometer, or cook it till its a nice pink in the center (thermometer is better cause you wont have to cut into the nice pretty breast). While its cookin on the skin side you might have to drain the fat off to keep em from deep frying, try to save it, if you do much cooking duck fat can add a lot of flavor to dishes.

    When the breasts and legs are done put em somewhere to keep warm, an oven on the lowest setting with the door cracked would work for a little while, and drain off the fat, saving it if you want. Then take the marinade you saved and pour it into the pan you cooked the duck in, scraping up the bits of skin and fat that have stuck to the pan. Let that simmer till it gets nice and thick. Once its thick add a little salt till it tastes great then serve it over the duck.

    Lardalish on
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    mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    how many people are you having? more than 4 and it doesn't seem like a single duck is enough food. we had 10-12 last year and killed a 12 lb turkey

    mts on
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    firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Great stuff in this thread. Roasting a duck whole is awesome. But when I get down on duck I usually break it down, confit the legs, and pan-sear the breasts. Either way you'll be good.

    But save all of the fat!

    Duck fat is delicious, and absolutely worth holding onto. Fingerling potatoes roasted in duck fat are fantastic.

    firewaterword on
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    LachoneusLachoneus Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    i know this is neither help nor advice.

    but i have always thought of duck as something rich people eat at restaurants.

    $14 is pretty good for a big ol' bird. lol

    Lachoneus on
    "No women. No kids."
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    HypatiaHypatia Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    The two duck recipes I know that are uber delicious are Peking Duck and 8 Treasure Duck (although I could have sworn my mom's recipe was only 7 treasures...well, whatever!)

    Hypatia on
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    DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    I know minimal things about roasting birds. However, I second the person who emphasized not taking it past medium. Duck should be medium-rare, and pinkish in the middle.

    Darkewolfe on
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    MetroidZoidMetroidZoid Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Oh god I am drooling right now

    MetroidZoid on
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    Perfectly CromulentPerfectly Cromulent Registered User regular
    edited November 2009

    But save all of the fat!

    Duck fat is delicious, and absolutely worth holding onto. Fingerling potatoes roasted in duck fat are fantastic.

    This can't be repeated enough. Duck fat is liquid gold.

    Perfectly Cromulent on
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    ueanuean Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    My wife and I just killed a chicken last night that was given to her as a gift. I was all expecting to enjoy this delicious meal of bird that had been alive and buck-buck-bucking around our yard, but the preparation of the thing... yack. I'm not a farm boy and blood and guts, combined with the smell, has totally turned me off of meat for awhile I think. At least chicken.

    That said, I still like a good orange duck!

    uean on
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    KillgrimageKillgrimage Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Nothing to add except that I want to buy and cook my own duck now. Sounds fucking delicious.

    @uean: sorry about your bad experience with fresh meat man. I've never had to do that but I think it would turn me vegetarian too.

    edit: I just aquired a crock pot as a gift (brand new!) and I'm hesitant about using it. Can duck cure me of my apprehension?

    Killgrimage on
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    TK-42-1TK-42-1 Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    I wouldnt use a crockpot for duck. you really need to drain some of that fat away. I would use it for beef and make a stew.

    TK-42-1 on
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    iamthepiemaniamthepieman Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    uean wrote: »
    My wife and I just killed a chicken last night that was given to her as a gift. I was all expecting to enjoy this delicious meal of bird that had been alive and buck-buck-bucking around our yard, but the preparation of the thing... yack. I'm not a farm boy and blood and guts, combined with the smell, has totally turned me off of meat for awhile I think. At least chicken.

    That said, I still like a good orange duck!

    I love knowing where my meat comes from. my family and my wife's family we have butchered and processed in the past 4 months.

    1 water bufallo - Live weight: 1100 pounds
    4 sheep approx 90 pounds hanging weight each
    2 pigs
    a dozen rabbits or so
    some chickens

    My siblings, who did the sheep this past Monday actually drank the hot blood as it was squirting out of the neck after they cut the head off.





    They are barbarians though.

    iamthepieman on
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    JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    With short lifespans, jesus.

    My grandparents are hunters and I love wild/home-prepped game. There is no better meal.

    It's going to be sad when they go because I'll be goddamned if I am going to clean rabbits myself.

    Jasconius on
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    iamthepiemaniamthepieman Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Jasconius wrote: »
    With short lifespans, jesus.

    My grandparents are hunters and I love wild/home-prepped game. There is no better meal.

    It's going to be sad when they go because I'll be goddamned if I am going to clean rabbits myself.

    Rabbits are the easiest animal ever to clean. You just make an incision around each of the feet, make a starter cut near the navel and just peel the skin back. Then you slice open the stomach, empty everything in one easy swoop and rinse it in warm water.

    Takes less than ten minutes, which includes walking out to the barn and disposing of the offal.

    iamthepieman on
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    iamthepiemaniamthepieman Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Also, since they breed like . . .rabbits. They are really easy to raise.

    iamthepieman on
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    Page-Page- Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    I cooked my first duck last week. I've cooked plenty of chickens and a fair number of turkeys, so I was trying to use that as a guide.

    The main difference was, obviously, the fat, and that the duck took way longer to cook than a comparable chicken would have, which threw my timing off. Other than that, it was fucking delicious. I went for something really simple: garlic, a couple Spanish onions, and a mixture of soy sauce and honey. I roasted new potatoes in the pan alongside, which worked out very well, but I would have payed more attention to the basting if I'd though there would be so much excess fat and drippings.

    Only other thing of note was that ducks are made different from chickens and turkeys. If you're used to carving other birds you'll have some trouble with this one. The breasts aren't the same and they have a massive ribcage or something. Even the leg joints seemed a little different.

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    poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    The fat is of course, the difficult thing with duck. Any online recipes can help you with how to roast it (e.g. on a rack in a roasting dish so the fat runs off).

    The trick I was taught with duck was to use a fork to pierce the skin gently. If you're careful you can pierce the outer layer of skin but not the inner one, so the fat will come out of the holes in the outer layer but not into the meat so much.

    poshniallo on
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    ueanuean Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    uean wrote: »
    My wife and I just killed a chicken last night that was given to her as a gift. I was all expecting to enjoy this delicious meal of bird that had been alive and buck-buck-bucking around our yard, but the preparation of the thing... yack. I'm not a farm boy and blood and guts, combined with the smell, has totally turned me off of meat for awhile I think. At least chicken.

    That said, I still like a good orange duck!

    I love knowing where my meat comes from. my family and my wife's family we have butchered and processed in the past 4 months.

    1 water bufallo - Live weight: 1100 pounds
    4 sheep approx 90 pounds hanging weight each
    2 pigs
    a dozen rabbits or so
    some chickens

    My siblings, who did the sheep this past Monday actually drank the hot blood as it was squirting out of the neck after they cut the head off.





    They are barbarians though.

    D:D:D:D:D: I don't think that's normal :shock:

    uean on
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    PSN - sumowot
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    TicaldfjamTicaldfjam Snoqualmie, WARegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    uean wrote: »
    My wife and I just killed a chicken last night that was given to her as a gift. I was all expecting to enjoy this delicious meal of bird that had been alive and buck-buck-bucking around our yard, but the preparation of the thing... yack. I'm not a farm boy and blood and guts, combined with the smell, has totally turned me off of meat for awhile I think. At least chicken.

    That said, I still like a good orange duck!

    I love knowing where my meat comes from. my family and my wife's family we have butchered and processed in the past 4 months.

    1 water bufallo - Live weight: 1100 pounds
    4 sheep approx 90 pounds hanging weight each
    2 pigs
    a dozen rabbits or so
    some chickens

    My siblings, who did the sheep this past Monday actually drank the hot blood as it was squirting out of the neck after they cut the head off.





    They are barbarians though.
    D:
    D:
    D:o_O
    :mrgreen:
    Hot damn, if that is'nt Metal I don't know what the fuck is.

    Ticaldfjam on
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    DemerdarDemerdar Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    I've seen Bear Grylls do that.

    Gross. lol

    Demerdar on
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