nate has been ranting about cooking duck for a long, long time. i’ve only had duck once before in my life, and i don’t think it was prepared very well because it didn’t necessarily strike a chord in my when nate kept bringing up duck.
well, i finally caved and made duck. and it was yummy.
the first thing i did was watch the good eats episode on how to make duck, so i had that under my belt. next, i saved up so i could actually buy the duck. (duck is expensive! the one we bought was $19.) the second was to choose a date to make it – and today was chosen.
now, you could cook the duck whole, but alton brown’s recipe calls for cutting it into quarters; this was the first time i’d actually cut apart a fowl pre-cooking. after wrestling with bones and skin and my not-so-sharp knives, i finally was able to put the meat in the brine. oh, did i mention there was a brine? if i were to do this again, i’d include half the salt since the duck came pre-injected with crap. BUT. the brine had pineapple juice in it, which i thought was cheeky on the part of alton.
after the brine, i steamed the duck for 45 minutes per instructions. the only pot big enough to do the job was my canning pot, so out that came again. meanwhile, my cast iron pan heated up in the 475º(!) oven.
after the steam, i placed the duck skin-down in the pan so it crisped up nicely. the skin was scored so the fat that sits under the duck skin, which helps them float, has a way to get out from under the skin. so when you pull the duck pieces from the pan, you’re left with some nice duck fat, which according to nate should be good on everything.
it was a little salty due to the double brining effort, but it was yummy. would make again.