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Oct 28, 2013 06:47 AM

Why not roast some duck?

Roasted chicken is a very very popular dish in US. I made one last night for dinner. Why isn't roasted duck popular in US? before I try it this weekend with just salt and pepper, I'd like to ask. Can I roast the duck the same way I do with chicken? I roasted chicken at 425 degree on a bed of root vegetables in a 12 inch Lodge cast iron skillet. I assume roasted duck done in a same fashion will be tasty as well? and I assume roasted root vegetable cooked in duck fat must be ultra delicious?

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  1. Duck is awesome! and duck fat is awesome!

    Yes, you can roast a duck just like a chicken and it will be marvelous.

    I believe the reason duck is not as popular as chicken in the US is that it is pricier and harder to acquire.

    Also, I have many aquaintances that dislike duck due to it being all "dark meat". A properly cooked duck will not be greasy, but it will have delicious crispy skin and anything cooked in the fat will be AMAZING!

    I would advise, if you get a commercially raised duck, to not use the orange sauce that comes tucked inside, as it is frequently VERY sweet and will mask the natural scumptious flavor of your duck.

    2 Replies
    1. re: DragonDrumsticks

      How about the cooking time? keep it the same too? Duck I assume has less meat than chicken so cook it a bit less even though it is the same weight?

      Yeah, i wouldn't use those oranage sauce...
      thanks for the recommendation.

      1. re: Monica

        I normally cook mine for the same amount of time I would for a similarly sized chicken. Just keep an eye on it. Duck is fatty enough even if you accidentally get it a bit more done than you planned, it will not be dry.

    2. I do not consider duck as simple as chicken, not by a long shot. No "set it and forget it". It will throw off a lot of fat so has to be watched carefully. Should be raised up on a rack or screen and monitored on a regular basis.

      Also for the skin to come out right, you have to brown it well before even putting it in the oven. I think these are more the reasons that you don't see it as often in home cooking, rather than price. Duck meat is more like beef and the price is cheaper than that. It's a little tricky, not impossible, but do a little research before attempting is my advice. some of the best duck I've tasted was cooked low and slow for 5 or 6 hours, not saying you can't do otherwise but if you want the full experience, there is a knack to it.

      16 Replies
      1. re: coll

        this seems like a good recipe and instruction but yeah, now I know why people don't really roast duck...that's a lot of work...

        1. re: coll

          I second what coll said - duck is definitely NOT as easy as chicken. Also, I personally don't care to roast ducks whole, because I like the breast meat cooked no more than medium rare. The legs and thighs are great for roasting or braising but to me, fully cooked duck breast is a waste.

          1. re: biondanonima

            which makes me wonder why any typical supermarket sells a whole duck but not parts of ducks. Love seared duck easy to make and so good.

            1. re: Monica

              I know, I have wondered that myself. It's not difficult to bone and break them down oneself, though - no more so than your average chicken.

              1. re: Monica

                I suspect it's because they don't sell a lot of them. I never see them other than frozen in the supermarkets either. It's probably easier for them to just stock the whole birds and leave it at that.

                1. re: Monica

                  Some do, but when I wanted to cook a duck breast a couple of weeks ago, one breast was the same price as a whole duck!

                  1. re: Monica

                    A lot of supermarkets (and most of the ones where I live in NJ) sell duck breasts and leg quarters separately (breast approx 8.99/lb, legs approx 3.49/ lb).

                    1. re: The Professor

                      which one? i've never seen them. I am in bergen county.

                      1. re: Monica

                        I see them all the time in both StopNShop and ShopRite. I bought a few leg quarters yesterday at ShopRite to make confit. 3.49/lb

                    2. re: Monica

                      hit an Asian market, often you can find ducks whole or parted.

                      I think I too would use a rack, reserve part of the rendered fat for later (you will find great uses - plenty of threads on that) and make a pan gravy for the root vegetables roasted in a different pan as they might get too mushy and fatty in the direct drippings (but don't be afraid to add a few spoonfuls along the way).

                  2. re: coll

                    Try this recipe:


                    This is no more work than the Zuni chicken.

                    1. re: coll

                      I agree. If it was that easy, believe me, I'd do it once a week!! But it can really smoke up the kitchen if you're not careful. And carving it is a bit harder too.

                      1. re: wincountrygirl

                        The recipe I linked to above is super easy.

                      2. re: coll

                        I've only had duck once and it did not taste good to me at all. It was domestic cooked with apricots and ?? I know nothing about the skill level of the cook so maybe the cooking was the problem? It had a very distinct taste that was not- to me- at all good.

                      3. I slash the skin to allow the fat to escape. definitely use a roasting rack so it is not swimming in its own fat.
                        I also scald the duck briefly (and then air dry it) to get the skin a little crispier. A quick honey/soy/5 spice/sesame oil/ginger/garlic marinade, roasted a little lower and slower (to prevent scalding)....Good stuff.

                        1. Google "5 hour duck". They are slightly more work than chicken, to render out the fat, but little efforts spread over more time, and worth it. Later, you have duck fat and maybe leftover meat for duck hash. Also, I agree with the comment above about skipping the cloyingly sweet packet of orange sauce. Start saving and freezing the livers for a batch of duck liver pate.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Veggo

                            For duck livers, wouldn't it be good seared with some balsamic glaze reduction?

                            1. re: Monica

                              Probably, I have never tried. Numerous friends say duck liver pate is the best thing that ever came out of my kitchens.

                              1. re: Veggo

                                any recipe you follow? duck liver pate is one of favorite foods in the world.

                                1. re: Monica

                                  There are so many varied recipes, I do a mix and match along these lines:
                                  Sautee one diced onion until translucent, add and sautee trimmed duck livers lightly.
                                  Combine with a mixture of warm heavy cream with a good shot of cognac, coarse black pepper, and kosher salt, blend the mixture, then strain. You may catch next to nothing in the strainer. Be careful with liver/liquid ratios so it will set up without being too soupy. I made one batch with 2 pounds of luck livers, and ended up with 5 -8 oz. crocks of pate.
                                  Fill small crocks with the mixture, place crocks in a walled pan with 1 inch of water, bake at 250 for 45 minutes. Remove crocks, let cool, then refrigerate. Later I float a thin layer of duck fat on the surface of the crocks I will freeze - it freezes well.
                                  Serve with a good cracker, crispbread, or melba toast, and cornishons. Goes well with soft ripened cheeses, also.

                          2. "Why isn't roasted duck popular in US?"

                            In addition to what others have said (e.g., it's a darker meat, more fat means more attention needed, etc.), I suspect duck is less common than chicken because America's poultry producers have not industrialized duck production to the same extent as chicken production.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: LorenzoGA

                              And they grow so quickly, faster than any fowl. The 16 cute yellow ducklings in my lake were amusing when they cruised single file following mama last spring, but now they are all grown up and they shit everywhere. Muscovy, but I won't eat them, I just wish they would get a life elsewhere.

                              1. re: Veggo

                                I just wish they would get a life elsewhere....they can have one in my belly.

                                1. re: Veggo

                                  I think we can also add to the list of reasons why duck is not as popular as chicken in America: Many of us have an aversion to eating animals we perceive as cute or amusing or that we are accustomed to seeing enjoying themselves out in the park, and ducks are just that.

                                    1. re: Monica

                                      Donald D. is an easily duped moron, so to a grifter what is possibly cuter?

                                    2. re: LorenzoGA

                                      Cute? Is that why there are no duckling Peeps at Easter?: '-)