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Jul 8, 2009 12:02 PM

Help, Roast duck ?

I am roasting a duck for the first time, using The Amazing 5 hour Roast Duck recipe. When it said pierce the bird all over I interpreted that as slash. I now have several 1 - 2 inch slashes all over the bird through the skin and fat. I didn't cut the flesh (I don't think...) Will this effect the results? should I cover is or anything?

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  1. I think you will be ok .... do you just have "several" slashes versus many? I sometimes accidently cut the skin/flesh on breasts through to the flesh and haven't noticed a problem, by the way. Next time pierce though! (grin) And, let us know how it works out.

    1. you should be ok, but next time, be gentler with that knife! ;) there's a big difference between a pierce and a slash. you just want to puncture the skin with the tip of the knife, not slice a gaping opening.

      6 Replies
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        Yeah, I don't know WHY I saw pierce and my brain said ,"SLASH!" And now I posted this question for the 2nd time. SIGH>>> Maybe I should have stayed in bed and had DH order takeout for tonight.

        1. re: ajcraig

          ok, so i just looked at the recipe, and i actually see a very good reason why your brain would have gone there - at one point it says to make "slits" all over the duck, yet there's no mention of the length.

          don't despair, you made an honest mistake, and it really shouldn't ruin the dish. just be sure to save the precious fat when you pour it off. at worst, if you don't like the way it turns out, you can re-purpose the meat...perhaps in a confit.

          BTW, if you ever accidentally post a thread more than once, you can simply click the "report" link and ask the moderators to remove it.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            you should be fine, not piercing the skin is the important thing. save that duck fat!

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              And, now that I think of it, I did make small slits with a knife, not just "pierces".

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Oh I KNOW to save the fat. I have been reading ( and drooling over) posts on Chowhound about potatoes roasted in duck fat forever. I honestly wonder if that is more my ultimate goal, rather than the duck itself!

                1. re: ajcraig

                  There is absolutely no reason not to enjoy the delivery system!

          2. For what it's worth, I ALWAYS slash instead of pierce, but I am always careful never to slash all the way through the fat layer so that it stays connected and protects the flesh from drying out. The problem with pricking, no matter how sharp the fork is, is that the small holes seal up during the roasting process and you don't get as much rendered fat. That does not happen with slashing. I evenly space about three diagonal slashes down each side of the breast. Sometimes I pack the slashes with herbs, as well as use the same herbs in the cavity, if I want the meat flavored, but that will also flavor the rendered fat, so if you're planning on frying potatoes in duck fat, and you pack the slashes with thyme, for example, you'll have thyme flavored potatoes as a result. Anyway, no, you shouldn't have a problem. It's a good thing! '-)

            1. fwiw, i just saw a duck made on diners, drive-ins and dives, and the chef used two wooden skewers to prick the skin all over pre-roasting, and then again half-way through. it looked fabuloso!

              (he "skewered" the duck skin with the speed of a rapid machine gun, a skewer in each fist).

              1 Reply
              1. re: alkapal

                My trick is similar, but I pinch the skin and pierce through horizontally - This helps 2 ways: First, you have no chance to go too deep,, and you also get 2 holes at the same time. Just be careful not to pinch too much and seperate the fat from the flesh.

              2. So my first duck experience is over. It was good. The meat wasa little dry, caused, I'm sure, by the giant slashes in the skin that made it look like one of Jason's victims. It was a good learning experience and I will do it again for sure. Thank you for everyone's input and encouragement. It is so good to know that I have all you chounders to hold my hand in a culinary crises!
                I made the Thai variation with lemon grass and cilantro in the cavity and a coconut, red curry and lime juice basting for the last hour.
                The best part is that I have about 1 1/2 cupsof duck fat! YEAH!
                I going to use the leftover meat tonight in a fried rice or a lo mein. COOK ON!

                4 Replies
                1. re: ajcraig

                  You have me dreaming of duck spring rolls. A little carrot, cabbage, cucumber and duck, with a dipping sauce.

                  1. re: ajcraig

                    oh, if there is any more leftover, please make the thai duck salad!

                    1. re: ajcraig

                      see, i told you it would work out! glad it was a success. enjoy the leftovers and all that glorious duck fat!

                      1. re: ajcraig

                        I made this at the holidays and thought 5 hours was probably one hour too long. Mine was fabulous but a little dry.