Want to try something unexpected this holiday season? If you’re expecting a small get together then duck can be the perfect main dish for your holiday dinner. Unlike bigger birds, ducks normally feed about three to four people but can get rather expensive depending on where you purchase them. Ducks have a tantalizing flavor and thick skin that tastes perfect when it is cooked up crispy with or without a glaze. Sweet glazes are often the normal for ducks because it helps the skin caramelize. Duck can also be perfectly fine by itself without the glaze.
You will want to buy four pounds of duck for every three people you are feeding. For a party of six, you would need two ducks. If you desire an extra crispy skin, put the ducks in a roasting pan in your refrigerator and leave it there, uncovered, through the night. All fat must be removed from the cavity. Loosen the duck’s skin with your fingers and apply seasoning both under and on top of the skin. For those who like glazes, I have provided one below and for those that do not like glazes, I have also listed an alternate cooking method.
For the glaze you will need these ingredients:
- A 8oz can of jellied cranberry sauce
- 1 teaspoon of rum extract
- ¼ cup of brown sugar
- 1 lemon's juice and grated rind
- 6 slices of delicious bacon
- 4 pounds of dead duck
This one is pretty simple. If the duck needs stuffing, stuff the duck before roasting and salt and pepper to taste. In a roasting pan, roast the duck in an oven at 350 degrees for 2 to 2 ½ hours. At about half an hour before the duck is finished, combine all of the ingredients, except for the bacon, in a pan and simmer until the mixture is smooth. Remove the ducks from the oven and spoon the glaze over the duck. Place the strips of bacon over the duck and cook for the remaining half hour. This recipe should be a party favorite.
- 2 four pound ducks with the wing tips and innards removed.
- Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
- 6 quarts chicken broth
Take 2 of your non-frozen, thawed, dead duck and have it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes. With a fork or similar poking instrument, puncture the skin but not the meat. This will help the fat drain from the bird and allow more healthy deliciousness while it cooks.
Find, borrow, or buy a very large stock pot that two four pound ducks can fit comfortably in. Bring the chicken broth to boil and add just 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. Once the mixture is boiling, place the two ducks in carefully - you don’t want to get splashed by boiling broth! Bring the broth back to a boil. The broth should cover the ducks completely, but if it does not, add very hot water. Ducks are built to float and if that happens to you, simply place a plate on them to keep them submerged. When the mixture comes back to a boil, reduce the heat and allow the ducks to simmer for 45 minutes.
Here’s where it gets fun. You should have some duck fat just floating along the top of the broth. You need to take as much of that fat as you need to coat the bottom of a 14 by 18 by 3 inch roasting pan. That helps prevent the ducks from sticking to the pan while roasting. Remove the ducks from the stock carefully and allow them to drain. They should be placed into the roasting pan and patted dry. Season them with salt and pepper. Let the ducks sit and think about their life choices for about 30 minutes at room temperature. That should be plenty of time for the skins to dry enough for roasting.
Place the two ducks in a 500 degree oven for about 30 minutes. When done, take them from the oven, cover them with aluminum foil for 20 minutes, and then feast!
No matter how you decide to fix your holiday duck, it’s always an excellent choice for special get togethers. Your guests are not likely to soon forget your culinary skills. Enjoy your holiday duck feast!
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