cooking duck

duck is one of my all time favorites. especially one of the beautiful muscovy’s that come from my backyard. i truly think there is nothing more satisfying then watching the baby birds hatch out, slowly grow to roasting size (while roaming around my backyard eating whatever they wish), and then killing, cleaning and plucking them ready for the pan. oh, and the killers’ privilege of hearts, livers and bacon on grilled sourdough with only a tumbler of red wine and the company of my 6 year old son who is also a big fan.

anyhoo, duck! we will do legs and breasts separately as this causes the most problems with roasting a whole duck ie. people will always complain that the legs were beautiful but the breast was dry and overcooked. or, the breast was cooked but the legs were still chewy and tough.

start with a 180g breast, and keep it simple until you have got the technique sorted. preheat oven to 180C. bring the duck out of the fridge for 10-15 minutes so it can get close to room temp. season on the skin side with plenty of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper (i use white peppercorns but that’s up to you) and place into an oven proof frying pan over a med heat. keep an eye on it now and after 2-3 minutes it should be starting to turn golden brown, texture like sun… no. wait. i think i may have been straying from the point there. then straight into the oven for 6 minutes. when your oven timer goes off, and if you haven’t got one i suggest you grab one from your nearest cooking store cos they are heaps handy if you like to cook, take the duck out of the oven and turn over so that beautiful crisp skin is now facing upwards. tear a sprig of thyme into the pan and leave it to rest for 3 minutes. now carve it up with a sharp knife… please tell me you have a sharp knife. eat it in your face with a simple rocket and hazelnut salad dressed with the pan juices mixed with a Tbls of red wine vinegar.

great werk. i am really surprised you did so well!

now legs. same scenario to start with. preheat oven, season legs, now into an oven dish and into the oven for 20ish minutes until starting to brown. now reduce heat to 160C for 1.5 hours (it could take longer if it’s being stubborn) or until the meat will easily come away from the bone. it’s really nice if you roast some veges in the pan, too. duck fat veges are really good. and chuck a few sprigs of thyme and rosemary in there.

drink some wine now. you really deserve it.

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