best way to cook a duck
Bought a whole duck (about 6 pounds) on a whim and don't know what to do with it. What's the best way to cook it? Do I remove all the extra fat? How do you remove the extra fat?
Thanks in advance!
Can't beat a delicious roast duck. The only fat you need to remove is at the front of the bird. Just grab it and pull it out/off. Pierce the skin, especially under the joints.
I love to cook it on the rotisserie on a medium heat grill. We usually go an Asian route (basting with hoisin sauce and serving with mandarin pancakes, green onions, cucumbers lightly "pickled" in rice vinegar, and plum sauce), but you could get creative with the flavoring. Basic method: Rub with oil, salt and pepper before putting on the rotisserie skewer. If you put a drip pan under the duck you won't get flare ups that blacken the duck. Baste with sauce every 15 or 20 minutes once the fat begins to render. It usually takes about 1.5 hours for medium rare.
I roast a duck much in the same way that I roast a chicken - no adornment, perhaps an orange stuffed in the cavity. My one change is that I do prick it every so often to let the fat drain out of the bird.... onto a bed of potatoes and onions, yum!
I personally like to break it down so I can cook the breast to a medium/ med rare and the tough legs and thighs can be cooked slowly in their fat which makes them very tender and delicious. I start by removing the legs, thighs, wings and set a side then remove the breasts off the ribs. If you have some duck fat from previous use you can confit the legs, wings and thighs without removing the skin. If not you can skin all parts except leave a little on the breast to help it cook. The carcass is trimmed of all fat and reserved for stock. All skin and fat is cut small and slowly rendered to create a nice amount of duck fat. This is used to confit the legs, thighs, wings, gizzard and heart. The liver can be used to make a pate, chopped liver or can be sauted and eaten as is. I score the skin on the breast and cook them on the stove, finishing in the oven so they are moist and pink when sliced.