Monday, December 7, 2009


Scrumptious looking right? Well I will never look at duck in the same way after I now know what goes into roasting a duck. This all came about because Jordan has been begging to make game meat dishes he finds on his "manly" websites. I have no problem with game meat but its not a staple in the local grocery store. Thus, unless he goes out and brings me said game meat, I cannot make his "manly" meals.

Well in comes a trip to Union Square farmer's market in New York City and low and behold there sit Quattro's game farm stand. They had tubs of duck, venison and all sorts of other exotic meat. At the moment I disappointingly realized I obviously could not purchase the meat on the spot and truck it back with me on the train. Such a splendid opportunity gone to waste until I realized Quattro's was in Pleasant Valley, not very far from where I actually live. I am convinced it was fate.

Fast forward a couple of weeks, and off I was up to Pleasant Valley to seek out the prized game meat. They had a great variety of all sorts of game meat and cuts. They also make their own various sausages. I ended up with a 6 lbs duck. Apparently 6 lbs is about the right size for two servings. Sounds crazy right? That is what I thought too but sadly most of the 6 lbs is fat. I always knew duck was a fatty meat but really? My sad thoughts turn into grossness as the roast process begin.

Our cute little duck pre-roast.

This was definitely Jordan's project. He learned after an exhausting Internet search that you must score the duck fat. Basically this means before you put the duck in the oven you have to poke holes into the duck fat so has the duck heats up and the fat melts it has an easy path to drip out. Did I mention I thought this whole thing was gross?
Duck is so flavorful. We decided to go with a simple salt, pepper, and herb de Provence mixture.

At this point, right before it enters the oven it still looks cute. Notice how you have to cook it on a rack so it does sit in the odd some 1-2 cups of fat that will eventually comes out of the duck.

Although there was multiple ideas floating around the Internet about how exactly you should roast a whole duck, we ended up going with Mark Bittman's method from "How to cook everything". The thought process is to cook the duck slowly at a low temperature to get more fat off without over cooking the meat. We set the temperature at 300 degrees and got ready to wait for 3 hours. You set the timer for 60 minutes and at every hour you flip the whole duck over to drain the fat from each side. With each turn you add additional pokes into the fat to again help the fat drain off. I really believe this is what liposuction would look like in real life. At this point I was done with the process besides making sure Jordan didn't completely burn his hands off with the flipping method.

Remember the moment in Julie and Julia when after many attempts at recreating one of Julia's dishes Julie finally sits down to enjoy it at midnight or what ridiculously late time it was to eat dinner. Well that was me on Sunday night; it wasn't midnight but I was exhausted nonetheless.

In the end it came out beautifully, and delicious no less. No wonder duck is expensive though. The 6 lb bird was just enough for 2 servings and it was a pain in the butt to cook.

Jordan is convinced this was a fun project and cannot wait to do it again. We will have to wait and see.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my! I've been wanting to roast a duck for a while but am not sure about the whole draining thing!!! It looks really yummy though!


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