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Dec 13, 2010 03:53 PM

Deep Fried Duck ???

I've been given several ducks (5 lb range) each. I usually do the "Amazing 5 Hour" recipe with them. However......would like to change it up. Has anyone ever fried a duck in oil like you'd do a turkey? Any hints or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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  1. Never deep fried a duck.
    First thing that comes to mind is what happens to all that fat in the duck?

    12 Replies
    1. re: monku

      I've already got an ample supply of duck fat saved, so I'm not worried about wasting good duck fat. Just want to know about timing for frying one in oil. I do realize that the meat will be drier, but I do live for the prized crispy duck skin.

      1. re: monku

        You never had Wor Shu Opp? Classic Cantonese dish growing up in the 60's- 80s in every Chinese restaurant or Take-Out. Roasted and DeBoned .....Dropped in light batter and deep fried served with a mushroom gravy. Think Boneless Chicken, if you are familiar with that classic dish.

        1. re: fourunder

          Sure I remember that kind of duck.
          Back to the OP's procedure, isn't all that duck fat still in the duck when it's deep fried?

          You're just chock full of memory lane stuff.

          1. re: monku

            My neighbors owned three restaurants and I worked in them through high school and part of college.

            1. re: monku

              Back to the OP's procedure, isn't all that duck fat still in the duck when it's deep fried?
              I really see no reason why a duck could not be deep fried whole, halved or in parts like a chicken. At five pounds, I would imagine 15-20 minutes would be suffice in pieces/parts... slightly longer whole or halve. Yes the duck fat will render out, but no worries I can think of.....except the loss for future use.

              1. re: fourunder

                I would think you'd have to let the fat render out before eating it.

            2. re: fourunder

              Oh I remember that dish, very popular back in the day. Not really deep fried like the current deep fried turkey craze, but pretty good, IIRC.

              I think you can get crispy duck skin without deep frying, and you lose the duck fat to the frying fat, but deep frying a whole duck it not as odd as it seems; here's an early thread with some hints and tips on deep frying a whole duck:


              There's more stuff on google, including some marinade suggestions, and this one, in case you were thinking more Asian style:


              1. re: bushwickgirl


                That Asian Duck looks worthy enough for an attempt some day. Thanks for the link.

                1. re: fourunder

                  Doesn't that look good? Something like Peking duck without all that air drying aggravation and probably a bit more flavorful.

              2. re: fourunder

                You got a quick recipe for that mushroom gravy?
                It could come in handy.

                1. re: monku

                  If I can recall correctly, the basic gravy was made with chicken stock in the wok. The seasonings were probably salt and MSG. (Remember, this was back in the day). To thicken, the cornstarch slurry was added to the broth and allowed to boil out,maybe 10 minutes. Soy sauce and Dark Soy Sauce was added to bring the gravy to a nice caramel color. This was the basic gravy for the steam table and the sauce for Egg Foo Young. When Boneless Chicken was ordered, canned sliced button mushrooms were added. For the Wor Shu Opp, More Dark Soy and Possibly Oyster Sauce was added along with Sliced Black Mushrooms.

                  I knew people who drank the stuff right from the side bowls... I imagine you could upgrade the gravy with more exotic mushrooms....or at the very least, fresh instead of canned.

                  1. re: fourunder

                    Thanks for the recipe.
                    I'm one of those people who might drink it straight.

            3. My reason for the questions on frying a duck is I have a friend who loves to fry both turkeys and whole chickens in oil. He's never had duck before and was questioning as to whether the duck could be done in this manner or not. I don't see why not. As stated earlier, I'm not worried about losing the fat from just one duck. Figured some "hound" for sure would have fried a duck at one time or another.

              1. I deep fried a duck several years ago -- I had done a deep fried turkey and wanted to get another use out of the several gallons of frying oil. Surprisingly, the skin didn't crisp up as i had expected (and as the turkey had done) and overall it was nothing special. If you're looking to use up ducks, make confit out of the legs & fat, grill or sear the breasts & serve rare and make stock with the carcasses. The stock also reduces to a very nice demiglace.

                7 Replies
                1. re: rjbh20

                  I'm curious as to how long you fried your duck. I would have expected the skin to be extra crispy. Did you pierce the skin all over to render out more of the fat? Any speculation as to why it didn't crisp up?

                  1. re: Phoebe

                    Its been several years, so I don't remember the timing, but I remember that the meat was done properly. My speculation as to why it didn't crisp up (I was surprised) is that immersing the duck in hot fat cooks it inside & out at the same time and it was "done" before the fat had time to fully render. Presumably a hotter oil temp would have helped, but this process is incendiary enough as it is, as the annual parade of fried turkey disasters on youtube can attest to. Also, I've noticed that it always takes longer than one would think to for duck skin to turn into crispy cracklins when rendering duck fat for confit.

                    The Peking duck technique of steaming does help to make a crispy skin. So does dunking the duck in boiling water for 5 minutes or so, but both are more trouble than I'm usually wiling to invest. The boiling water treatment is good for duck pieces that you're planning to grill -- gets rid of some of the fat before the bird hits the grate.

                    1. re: rjbh20

                      Thanks for the info. I plan on trying to fry the duck @ 300* for 15 to 20 minutes to start. See what happens and go on from there....

                      1. re: Phoebe

                        Here's a thought.....There are restaurants that prepare pork shanks deep fried at very low temperatures of 200-225*, for about 4-6 hours depending upon the size of the shanks. To crisp the skins, they either do a high hot oil fry, or they do a high heat blast in the oven for the second cooking/reheat. ....It's something worth considering.

                        Note....some restaurants deep fry the pork shank first and reverse with low and slow roasting. I think the oil first for duck and high heat in the oven will crisp the skin better without steaming....just my opinion.

                        1. re: fourunder

                          I'm going to be doing the crispy pork shanks soon -- I have four nice ones in the freezer. These will be braised in pork fat (sort of a confit technique) until done then blasted in a hot oven for about 15 minutes to tighten up the skin and render out the surface fat, then finally deep fried at around 325 to make the skin crunchy. Technique is from Maloney & Porcelli in NYC.

                          I may also try braising some in stock instead of the confit method to see how that works.

                          1. re: rjbh20

                            Very nice dish...and no need to wait for a special occasion.

                            as I indicated above, there are at least two methods to crisp the skin....deep fried or high heat blast in the oven . To get the shanks tender, you could do your confit technique or roast low and slow in the oven. I had always thought that M & P used the confit technique....and the recipe a good friend used to employ with great results.

                            However.....this article seems to contradict their cooking method used. It says they deep fry first, then slow roast......I have no dog in this fight , I just thought you would find it interesting and by no means was I trying to make any corrections. Maybe the article is wrong.

                            excerpt from NY Times

                            By RUTH REICHL
                            Published: November 1, 1996

                            Occasionally the gimmicks work. Crackling pork shank, for instance, is an original and delicious dish, a great ball of meat (it weighs two and a half pounds before cooking), deep fried until the skin turns into cracklings, then slowly roasted. The result is an enormous mound of tender pork, wrapped in its own crisp skin and served on an aromatic bed of poppy-seed-sprinkled sauerkraut. It is far more meat than most people can eat at one sitting, but it is every bit as appealing consumed cold the next day. Too bad the firecracker applesauce (in the Mason jar, with a whole chili pepper on top) has the disconcerting texture of baby food.


                            1. re: fourunder

                              Interesting, and sort of counterintuitive -- assuming she's in fact got the order right. Can't see how a crispy fried shank wouldn't get soggy if then slow roasted, but one never knows, do one?

                              I've got a 23 lb porchetta in the oven today and my dinner guests canceled on account of a blizzard, so it will likely be awhile before I need to cook pork again.

                2. There is a Chinese method of marinating, steaming and then deep frying which yields a super crisp lacquered skin and a delicious flavor.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: chefj

                    Agreed: I'd assume that steaming the duck first (with pricked skin) would be a good way to go when frying, and even when roasting, a duck.

                    1. re: Bada Bing

                      That's the only way I've done it - it makes fabulous skin. I steam before I roast too, for the same reason.
             for need for the head and feet really...
                      I did the duck whole in a large wok (halved sounds like a good idea, it's a bit nervewracking to do a whole one).