Wednesday, August 18, 2010

D is for Delayed Duck

Remember that frozen duck? The one from five months ago? That one?

Yeah. What can I say? It's been a busy busy spring/early summer.

So let's jump in the wayback machine, and travel back to a more innocent time: Late March, when the duck finally thawed.

I did the google thang per usual, and read recipes from Food Network, Epicurious and Cooks dot com, besides consulting my perennial favorite for large poultry roasting, The Joy of Cooking.

The big concerns in duck roasting seem to be
a) getting rid of the fat, because there is apparently a lot of it, and
b) avoiding "off-flavors" (I'm assuming they mean "gaminess" here...?)

Some people also seem to really, really long for an extra crispy duck skin. However, since this was my first duck, I wasn't going to push myself too hard.

What I Did:

one duck, fresh or thawed

0.5) Preheat oven to 450 degrees

1) Rinse duck and pat dry

2) Place duck, breast up, on a rack in a shallow baking pan

3) Score the duck:
- make a series of shallow, diagonal cuts along one side of the bird torso
- "shallow" in this case means you should cut through the skin, but not the fat
- cut along the duck on the other diagonal, creating a diamond pattern.
- repeat on the other side of the torso

4) Rub the duck inside and out with salt and pepper (you could go with herbs here as well, I imagine)

5) Put a shallot inside the duck cavity (the recipes inform me that citrus fruits, root veggies, etc, would work just as well for this)

6) Place pan and duck in the oven

7) Reduce the temperature immediately to 350

8) Cook 20 minutes per pound of bird

9) Remove from oven

10) Allow to rest for ten-ish minutes, discard shallot from cavity, carve and serve

How Did it Go?
Great! The duck was juicy but not greasy, the flavor was mild, and life was good. It is fair to note here that Mr. Husband found the taste a bit odder than I did, so duck is not likely to become a household staple.

What Would I Do Differently?
Blog about it in a more timely manner. :-p Sorry about that, y'all.

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