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Mar 28, 2007 09:12 PM


I have a duck.. a whole duck... complete with head and feet.

I have dried shitake mushrooms, a leek, some garlic, some corriander and a stick of lemongrass.

What I need is a recipe/prep of a marinade/cooking method that will give me a lovely crispy skin.

PLEASE don't tell me I have to steep the duck on boiling water for the next 3 days, hang it outside in the wind between steepings and then marinate it for a further 3 days, stick a bicycle pump up its nethers and submerge it in goose lard at 90C for 9 hours.

Surely there must be a crispy skin duck recipe out there somewhere that does not involve my family eating it when I'm 63.


(addenum: I am well aware of the beauty of trad Peking duck style preparation, but just not tonight!!!)

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  1. Tyler Florence has a great method of preparing duck, in which you first season it, then steam it, then roast it. It only takes a couple of hours if I remember correctly. The skin comes out crispy, the meat is juicy and tender. And it's easy. My ten year old daughter has made this twice, with some minor assistance.

    And just fair warning, the last time I bought a duck that came complete with head and feet it also had entrails.


    1 Reply
    1. re: Euonymous

      Liz.. thanks so much..

      I was pulling my hair out Googling recipes that take 4 days prep!!!

      Here in Aust, it is illegal to sell a non-gutted fowl, (even the giblets have to be separated and put back in the cavity in a separate bag)so I think I'll be ok... however, I bought it from a butcher that spoke no English, in the heart of Little Vietnam, so ya never know!!!!

    2. If you want the skin to be truly crispy, then pull it off the meat, render in a frying pan and make cracklings out of it.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Melanie Wong

        You're almost there Melanie.
        In Julia Child's: "The Way To Cook", she has a recipe Duck 3 ways. She also made this in front of me at an appearance in Toronto to promote the book 20 years ago. It's not hard.
        The breasts have the skin removed and are sautéed and sliced as medallions. The legs are rubbed with dijon and rolled in seasoned crumbs and roasted. The bones are roasted and used to fortify some veal stock that is reduced into a sauce. The skin is cut into strips and fried into crispy cracklings, reserving the fat for sautéing the breasts and frying up some potatoes for breakfast the next day.
        Put the medallions on a platter, bookend with the legs, drizzle with sauce and sprinkle on the skin cracklings. Yum!
        If roasting whole, pat the duck dry and refrigerate uncovered overnight. This will do wonders for crispy skin. Prick the skin before roasting and it will self baste and crisp up nicely.
        Da Cook

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            That's cool Mellanie!
            My point was an easy recipe that can be done in under an hour that maximizes the strength of each part of the duck.
            As you noted in your post the breast is best cooked to pink and served as a medallion with a rich pan sauce. Good quality demi glacé or veal stack is available everywhere now so fortifying it with the duck bones (plus the head and feet) is doable. Confit is perfect for the thighs but purple goddess wanted something simpler that doesn't take hours to cook and a day to prepare. The dijon and crumb coated legs (separate drum & thigh so everyone can try one) is easy, tasty and suits the cut. And yes, those cracklings should go on the salad as the platter of breast and legs are doing just fine as they are.
            As for the liver I would do as the French do and confit it in the rendered fat from the skin. It only takes 45 mins to an hour and is very traditional on a salad too. However speaking of liver....I've got a piece of Salted Fois Gras in my fridge that we've been eating on and treating my friends for a week. It's Quebec Duck Fois Gras and the quality is superb.
            I de-vein the lobes, and while they are open and spread out, I put them in a dish and drizzle them with some Armangnac.
            After an hour, I move the pieces to a bed of coarse salt in another dish and then cover the liver with a layer of the salt.
            After another hour I carefully rinse the liver. pat dry and re-assemble the lobes. Then I tightly roll it in a dish towel, tie the ends and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.
            The result is the most perfectlly round tube of firm, sliceable, delicious fois gras you have ever tasted. The salt has drawn out all the blood and liquid and left pure Glory behind. We had a tasting and had it side by side with seared medallions (dusted in truffle scented flour) and a poached terraine. The salted won hands down. It also doesn't lose anything to the cooking where the other two methods shed up to 20% of their fat. The flavour is intense.
            I slice it thin and lay it on a Frisée salad with a hazelnut vinaigrette or serve it with baguette rounds, dijon and gerhkins. I also have a recipe where you make individual pizzas with just tomato sauce, basil, cheese and prosciutto and when hot from the oven add a pile of dressed arugula on top and some slices of the salted fois gras. I finishing the piece in my fridge with this extravagance tonight.
            Da Cook

      2. This is the recipe I've seen posted here. I plan to try it in the near future. It's simple, and sounds great.

        1. I really like the super slow roast method which I read about years ago in the NYT. Duck is seasoned simply and stuffed with aromatics and root veg to keep it moist. Roast it on a rack at 300 for 3-4 hours. This renders the fat. Turn up the heat to 400 (I think) and roast for another hour. This crisps the skin. The duck is fall off the bone tender and the skin is crackling. And it's very low effort.

          1 Reply
          1. re: cocktailhour

            this is close to the technique for the "amazing five-hour roast duck" which is truly amazing (and discussed previously on this board). Some roast at a lower temp.

            I roasted at about 275 for the 4 hours and then an hour at 350. Easy and turned out truly amazing. You just have to keep piercing the skin, pouring off (& saving!) the fat every hour.
            I am roasting two more ducks in this manner for Passover.
            Here's the recipe:

          2. A simple question from a guy who has never cooked a quacker:

            I have a frozen duckling. If I simply thaw it and bake it conservatively, loke a chicken, at 350 oven till it reaches 160 degrees, what kind of results can I expect?

            1 Reply
            1. re: FoodFuser

              450 for 15 minutes. There is a concurrent thread on duck.