Hey, Foodies! Happy Friday!
There’s no denying that this past year’s been a rough one. We’ve all had to make sacrifices and changes. And unfortunately, like the rest of 2020, the holidays are taking a hit. It kind of makes it hard to celebrate, or even want to. Even those who rallied for Thanksgiving and still cooked a turkey despite the fact they were feeding far fewer people were then faced with what to do with all the extra leftovers.
But cooking a nice holiday meal on a smaller scale doesn’t have to pose a problem. And I know some people cooked chickens instead this year, but that doesn’t really feel special, does it? So why not give duck a try?
People tend to be reluctant to cook duck, but here’s the thing – they’re less hands on than a turkey. You don’t have to baste it. And while duck skin is fatty, if you prepare it right, not only will the fat render from your bird, the meat will be fork tender – no knives required! Also, for presentation, you can easily remove the entire breast with one cut!
Duck is a great option for special occasions, date nights, and even just for a change of pace!
A 6-7 pound duck will feed 3-4 people.
spices (I use garlic powder, onion powder, garlic salt and Old Bay)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Spray your baking pan and wire rack with oil for easier cleanup.
Rinse your defrosted duck, making sure to remove all loose parts from the inside cavity, and dry well.
Using a very sharp knife – if you have a sharpener, give your knife a fresh blade – carefully score the duck skin diagonally, being careful not to cut through the skin into the meat. The bottom side will require much shallower cuts than the breast side, where the skin is more fatty.
Rub the inside with olive oil and spices. Using a lighter hand with the olive oil, do the same to the outside. A duck’s skin is fatty enough that you don’t actually have to use oil, and you certainly don’t have to baste the skin, but a light coat of oil helps the spices stick and keeps the meat moist and tender.
Even if your baking pan has a lid, cover the pan tightly with tinfoil. Your duck won’t take up as much room as a turkey, and cutting down on the cooking space helps it cook a little quicker, plus you can get a much tighter seal using tinfoil, which will help the meat practically steam off the bones.
Most ducks will have cooking instructions on the package. I’ve found the sweet spot is to bake them for about 22 minutes per pound.
When 1/2 hour of cooking time remains, carefully remove the tinfoil and let the duck roast uncovered.
And that’s it! Remove the duck from the pan, let it set for a few minutes, carve and serve!
When I cook this I’m just feeding two, so instead of carving the breast meat like a chicken or a turkey, I simply remove the entire breast in one stroke (possible because you just cooked a fork tender bird!) and serve it that way.
If you try it, please let me know if you liked it!
Check back next Friday for another Foodie Flavor!