Seasoning Cast Iron with Duck?
I received a beautiful Wagner cast iron pan for Christmas this year (hooray for eBay!). I am planning on eating lots of bacon to start the seasoning process, but I was wondering if roasting a duck in it might work as well. I'm not sure if it would be big enough for a duck (it's a 10-inch... I'll get a 12-inch next, but for now I just wanted a pan for making Zuni chicken, frittatas, etc). If it would, could I do this? I wanted to make the Saveur 5-hour roast duck. Where could I get a rack that would work for this?
Any other seasoning ideas are also very welcome (I've read all the previous posts on this topic).
Seasoning cast iron isn't brain surgery. Just start cooking bacon and enjoy it. Don't throw the bacon away. As long as you start with a clean skillet, it's fine to eat. The skillet will season quickly. Make sure it's well seasoned before cooking fritattas or the eggs will stick.
The bony carcass of a Pekin duck will likely be too long to fit in even a 12" skillet. Perhaps muscovy or mallards will fit but you probably don't want to cook those for 5 hours. I haven't cooked any duck for 5 hours in years but that's just my personal preference and others disagree. I use the shorter steam and quick finish method for roasting.
To find a rack, make a tracing of the bottom of your skillet and take that with you to a kitchen supply store (so you don't have to haul the skillet with you.) You should be able to buy a simple rack that will fit. If you can't find one, you can use roughly cut vegetables under your fowl. It won't get as crispy underneath, but the veggies will be delicious.
I use my 12" skillet for chickens. You may need to find small chickens for a 10" skillet.
I am not an expert in this, but when my mom seasons a cast iron pan she normally will use plain vegetable oil. If using food fat like lard or bacon, she usually will toss out the food and not eat it. I am not sure why but that how she does it.
I agree with hotoynoodle that you should probably do the REAL cooking after you season it.
you should season it before cooking in it. i just got a 10 in (yeah!) and have seasoned it with lard. i scrubbed the pan, slathered the stuff all over, then baked about 1 hour at 400 degrees. cool it, rinse it, do again. i did it about 5 times over several days and it looks super. lol, i will be making duck legs in it this week!