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Fancy a quick (poultry) affair, LETS HAVE A DUCK!
Member Name: luigi0778
Date: 29/10/09, updated on 02/11/09 (167 review reads)
Advantages: Easy to cook, relatively economical, tastes amazing!!!
Disadvantages: poor image of being unhealthy, messy clean-up
+All about a Duck+
Ahh what memories of visiting the local park as a child, accompanied by silver haired grandparents, clutching a bag of sliced stale bread.
Well not really, im Italian, In Italy, if something moves and isn't illegal to kill, it invariably gets shot, and eaten. (Sad but true, Rudolph, Blitzen, Prancer and Co., do have to adorn armour plating when flying Santa over Italy).
So for me at least, Ducks mean only one thing.
Thats right, Bang Bang. A delicious meal!
However, far from being the overly fatty, complicated to cook bird, that many of the TV chefs used to have us believe. If you can roast a chicken, you CAN roast a duck. It really is very simple.
Although it is fair to say you get pound for pound less meat, than from a comparable sized bird, of chicken or turkey. What you do get is two insanely delicious dark coloured breast meats, which are both dense, and immensely rich tasting.
You also get some rather nice legs and thighs with succulent meat, some equally tasty wings, and the best tasting crispy skin in the world. Think, a million times better than the stuff you get from a Chinese, and you will be there.
If this was not enough though, during the cooking process a fair amout of fat comes out, which can be strained through muslin cloth, cooled and then stored in the freezer, and will result in the worlds most delicious roast potatoes for months on end, as you only need a little. In fact it is equally as good as goose fat.
So what type of duck do I recommend. Well as far as im concerned the Gressingham Duck is the best. It is a result of breeding wild Mallards, which are the ones you commonly see in parks, the males of which have green faces, and domesticated white ducks. This hybrid produces a slow growing, large breasted duck (no smutty comments please), with a relatively favourable meat to fat ratio compared to other types.
Also at the time of writing Tesco are selling fresh Gressingham Ducks at a reduced price, and a decent sized one will come in at £6-8, which will easily feed 6 people. Offer ends 11th November! Great value!
+Lets Roast the Duck!+
First of all, forget about even thinking about roasting your potatoes or carrots, alongside your duck. It would be a bad idea! Ducks do during the cooking process render out a fair amount of fat. Not as much as you'd think, but enough to drown your roasties! So don't go there!
Another fantasy to forget about is stuffing, in the traditional sense, of shoving it all in the hole (so to speak). As vile as it sounds, the only place to insert your stuffing, is into the ample neck area, and tucking it all away under the skin. This prevents the stuffing from becoming to fat soaked, and allows the heat from the oven to penetrate the cavity!
Now we have that out the way, here is how you do it.
A whole prepared duck, (surprisingly)
3 inch piece of Root Ginger, peeled,
3-4 cloves of Garlic,
A sprig of Thyme,
1 Onion Sliced thinly,
4 apples cored, sliced into quarters.
A pinch of salt, and some Olive oil,
A roasting baster, (looks like a large pippette)
A suitable deep sided roasting tin,
-Take your roasting tin, and into it place the Garlic, Thyme, Sliced onion, and the pieces of root ginger (cut it into a couple of smaller chunks first). Try to gather them around the centre, so that it acts as a base for the Duck to sit on.
-Next massage your Ducks skin with salt and olive oil, and gently lower your Duck onto the arranged ingredients, and if your going to be stuffing, put it all into the neck, and tuck it under the skin. At this time place the Apple quarters into the cavity of the Duck. These don't count as stuffing, before you point that out!, but are a delicious accompanient to the Duck. Trust me!
-Next pre-heat your oven to Gas Mark 5, (about 190), and arrange the shelves so that the duck will sit approximately in the middle of the oven, if it isn't a fan assisted one!
-Next place your Duck inside the oven, and every thirty minutes remove from the oven, and baste with the fats which are being released. Incidentally, remove most of the fat as you go along. Pass it through muslin and store for making roast potatoes later, and later weeks by freezing it.
- After 1 and a half hours reduce to Gas 4 (about 180), and continue to roast for an approximate baking time of 3 hours. The skin will be crackly, and dark tan, and the bones will seperate easily.
-Once happy, remove from the Oven, and let the duck sit for around 30 to 40 minutes to cool, before carving. If the skin is not crisp enough, carefully remove from breast area, and roast in the oven seperately until perfect. Roll it up, and cut it into ultra thin strips. Serve a few strips with each portion, along with a quarter or two of the baked apple.
This is delicious served with Roast potatoes (of course using the Ducks fat, which is just as good as Goose fat), Roasted Carrots, and Roast Pumpkin wedges. Lightly fried slices of Savoy cabbage, with crushed walnuts thrown in, are a nice accompanient to this also. Absolutely the whole thing has to be lathered in gravy, that goes without saying!
Summary: A nice alternative to a traditional roast! Go try Duck yourself!!