intimidated by duck
I have been wanting to cook duck for a long time but don't know where to begin. I live in Brooklyn, NY - what is the best place to buy a duck and how should I cook it? Also, any special techniques or things I should know? All info is helpful!
We just roasted our 1st duck this weekend, and it was GREAT! Quick tips:
defrost completely, wash, and cover inside and out with a dry rub (we did Asian style, but you could use anything: salt/pepper, cajun, etc.)
Let sit in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
MOST IMPORTANT: pat completely dry, and then blowdry on low to get the skin really really dry. This helps the skin get crispy.
Put on a rack and roast in a 500 degree oven until it begins to brown, then lower the heat to 350 until the internal temp. reaches 165-170 (total time in oven is an hour or so). Let sit for 5 minutes, then carve.
It was amazingly good. Crispy skin, juicy insides; the scariest part is all the noise the duck makes when the fat drips off. It crackled for several minutes after coming out of the oven. Just wear oven mits and long sleeves in case of splatter!
I did that almost 30 years ago. I was just learning how to cook Chinese food and was atempting Peiking duck. I had not read the recipe all the way through and just before getting ready to roast I happened to notice the instructions about drying it. Dinner was going to be soon so I got out my hair dryer...it worked!
get your duck from a real butcher. don't go to a supermarket. and don't buy frozen.
i know fresh pekin duck goes for $4/lb at florence meat market. you can also try ottomanelli's a block away. my friend got one organic duck from a butcher in around prospect park. (i don't know the name off hand.)
as for how to cook it. it's easy and i recommend staying away from roasting, which may seem easy to do--into the oven and wait--but doesn't really do justice to the duck.
follow this link to nyt's cooking section. it's got recipes and real(tm) movies to boot. just don't do the sauce. it's too involved for a beginner. find one at epicurious or in the other article in NYT's cooking with the times section.
also you can ask the butcher to cut the duck up for you, if you are not feeling up to it. personally, i find it fun. but then i like knives.