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We've Got Dueling Ducks

They've JUST gone in the oven.

Dueling Ducks

The hardest part of roasting a perfectly moist, yet non-greasy duck is in the preparation; and the disregarding the package's instructions after the part where it says preheat to 375.

First thing's first... throw away that "orange sauce" packet that comes with the duck along with the neck and giblets. The oven is preheated to 375. The ducks have been perforated in their cavities, and then had mounds of coursely chopped onions, whole cloves of garlic and whole stems of fresh herbs stuffed in them with bulkheads of WONDER WHITE BREAD (the best man made sponge on the planet) creating flavor pockets and grease catchers. Then the flaps of skin and the tail are "sewn" shut with wooden skewers. I use wood skewers because trying to release twine from the skin of a duck that's just deep fat fried itself without scalping the whole bird is a bitch and a half. With wood, just twist and pull.

Then they've been placed BREAST SIDE DOWN (contrary to the instructions on their package) on foil risers and sprinkled with a little sea salt. The foil is intended to keep the birds well out of the grease that will drip out of them over the next 2 and a half to 3 hours.

In about 90-120 minutes, I will be thoroughly perforating the golden, crispy skin over the thighs and back and then flipping the ducks so that they will rest on the foil BREAST SIDE UP. The crispy skin that is now downward facing and full of holes will drain the grease without becoming saturated by the grease... maintaining it's crispiness.

I will probably at that time have to use the baster to reduce the level of grease in the pans as they will probably start to get a little full.




[edit/update]

Flipping the bird

Here we see the beautiful golden color indicating crispness. It took a bit more than an hour, I will presume that's due to there being 2 ducks in the oven versus 1. At any rate, I go by color, however long it takes, because there is no such thing as overdoing duck unless you outright burn it... because really, what's it going to do? be less greasy? be more tender? Like I said, the package said 22 minutes hours per pound...These are right around 6 pounds each... which means 2.2 hours. I'm already at 2 hours... with another hour to go. If I were to take it out now, it'd be too greasy. But by starting it out breast side down first, I've allowed juices to flow into the more dry breast meat and rendered more grease out of the greasier thigh meat, thereby evening out the overall moisture and grease content of the entire bird.

Nothing has happened to these from the original photo other than they have been flipped over, pricked with a two pronged fork and sprinkled with a little sea salt. All of the flavor pockets inside the bird are infusing flavor throughout the meat from the inside out as the grease renders into the herb filled cavity and drains out through the meat and over the skin. There is NO NEED TO BASTE A DUCK.

What I am waiting for now is the topsides to catch up with the bottom side in color and crispiness. The overall color will be darker and yes, possibly even blackened a little around the tips, which is ok, because the meat will still be beautiful, and I like a little char on my duck rinds.

Not to be a complete tease or anything, but I thought I should let you all know that my house smells divinely of onions, garlic, rosemary, basil, sage, marjoram, thyme and roast duck.

Side dishes on the docket include oven roasted potatoes, grilled asparagus and stuffing stuffed green peppers.

More on that... later.


So here you can see the ducks when I pulled them from the oven.
Fully roasted

I moved these to a large tray with a wire rack over it to rest for about an hour while the sides finished. More on those in a bit.

When I carve one of these puppies up, I usually remove the breast halves in one big ol' piece. So, the two breast pieces first, then the wings, then the drum sticks and finally the thighs. Throw away the contents of the cavity with the carcass... It was strictly there for providing flavor and sopping up all that excess grease.

For the sides, I stuffed some bell peppers with some pork stuffing, had an extra pan of stuffing, and roasted some potatoes in the oven. We decided to nix the asparagus idea at the last minute.

Sides in Le oven

I also made some Blackberry sauce to go with the duck, and toasted a baguette in the oven to go with dinner.

So this was the spread. Centered around the Bell pepper is the crispy herb roasted duck at the bottom, the bread to the right and behind the pepper, the potatoes on the upper left of the plate and finally a tablespoon or two of the blackberry sauce.

Christmas Eve Dinner

Paired with a good red wine. Tommasi Viticoltori "Ripasso" Valpolicella.

A friend brought dessert over. She brought that awesome cheesecake for Thanksgiving, and for Christmas she brought over some cut fruit that she marinated in a port wine for a day and a half and some vanilla Haagen Daas Ice Cream.

Fruit marinated in Port

Fruit marinated with Port with some vanilla ice cream

The more the ice cream melted the creamier and smoother the dessert got. Yum!

Definitely a great Holiday meal.

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Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
davesslave
Dec. 24th, 2007 08:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the instructions on roasting nongreasy duck. I have been searching for better ways to roast it.
tytal
Dec. 24th, 2007 08:20 pm (UTC)
I think I love you.
anita_margarita
Dec. 24th, 2007 08:23 pm (UTC)
Those ducks look positively nekkid and obscenely voluptuous.
brienze
Dec. 24th, 2007 08:33 pm (UTC)
Yay, a duck play-by-play. I cop out with a simple to make rib roast, but I'll look forward to your duck updates. Vicarious holiday dinners ftw!
atara
Dec. 24th, 2007 08:50 pm (UTC)
Oh, fantastic.
amnotcute
Dec. 24th, 2007 10:51 pm (UTC)
Even though I have recently finished our traditional xmas eve dinner, I find myself hungering for duck.

Wonderful (and delicious looking) porn.
scienceguru
Dec. 25th, 2007 04:18 am (UTC)
Those birds look beautiful...*drool*

I only hope the turkey I've got planned for tomorrow looks nearly as good when it comes out of the oven.

makes a note to try duck sometime
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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