I recently bought an outfit for deep frying turkeys, but haven't done one yet. I love duck, and am considering deep frying a domestic, frozen duck from a local supermarket. Of course, it will be completely thawed and dried, inside and out, before it hits the hot peanut oil. My main motivation is my love of good Chinese duck dishes where, ideally, the meat is moist and succulent, while the skin is crispy. Has anyone tried deep frying a whole duck? Do you think I should use the 3-1/2 minutes a pound rule, or shorten the time a little due to the much smaller size of the duck (I think the duck weighs about 4 or 5 lb.). I'm also wondering whether I should prick the skin to let some of the fat render out during cooking. Any comments or info based on actual experience will really be appreciated!
I've never done a duck, but I have done my share of Deep fried turkeys and a couple of chickens.
There was a pretty long thread on this topic that you might search for to gain some general insights.
I would certainly imagine a shorter cooking time per pound would be appropriate. As for piercing the skin, I doubt it would work. First, the fat in the bird would have no reason to render itself into more fat and, secondly, the skin would seal so quickly in the hot fat there wouldn't be any chance for the holes you pierced to last very long.
Let us know how your duck turns out.
These are just some thoughts... First I suggest that you don't worry about the fat. I think that it should render itself due to the high heat and probably make it even juicier than a fried turkey. I agree that pricking the skin probably won't do anything and that it would just seal over instantly.
I think that you might want to air dry the duck for a day in your fridge before frying to get more of that asian style consistency to it. Just wash and pat dry the bird and leave open to the air on a plate for 24 hours in your fridge. This lowers the moisture content, increasing the flavors for some reason.
You may want to rub the duck down with a dry rub of asian spices or Chinese five spice powder and let it sit in a large baggie for a day before air drying it to get an intense spice flavor. (Rub off excess spice just before frying. The spice on the skin may over cook if there is too much.) I have done this dry rub and air dry technique several times roasting duck and think that it may work well with frying.
I can't wait to hear your results and want to try frying a duck myself. Ive done the turkey thing a number of times and it's great.