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Unread 05-22-2013, 07:53 PM   #1
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Join Date: 12-14-12
Location: Sydney NSW
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Default Duck - work in progress

Yes I can cook duck breasts reasonably well. The main method I use is to cut cross pattern of skin then pan fry skin side down until fat renders and skin crisps. I then put pan in medium oven for 6-8 minutes and stand of a couple of minutes. The breasts are served pink!
But I digress! Cooking whole ducks has never worked for me. I have never been happy with the result. They have often been too tough and dry regardless whether they were over or under cooked. So now I have been experimenting viz work in progress as I haven't got the process to a stage that I can that is IT!
I saw a TV chef cook a duck by firstly steaming it for 4 hours at 60C (140F) - I missed the balance of the show and I couldn't find the recipe despite much searching.
As I have a Miele Steam Oven I have been using it to start the process. After a couple of attempts I document my last effort. My wife & I enjoyed the flavour, the duck was tender but the skin wasn't crisp (it may be that after steaming it won't get crisp). My 10 year old adventurous granddaughter tried it but wasn't impressed. Any recommendations, criticism, suggestions, insults and ridicule all welcome. I am exceedingly thick skinned.

Steamed and Roasted Duck
1 whole (4 to 5 pound) duck
1 tablespoon Chinese five-spice powder
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
5 big slices fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves
1/2 bunch green onions
1 tangerine (or mandarin) peel cut in big strips
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce

Duck is notoriously a fatty bird, to diminish the fat and produce a crispy skin, begin by trimming the excess fat from the neck and body. Cut off neck and wings (use for stock/sauce). Rinse the duck, inside and out, and pat dry thoroughly with paper towels. Combine the Chinese five-spice, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixture all over the duck, inside and out. Salt and five-spice powder makes a fragrant dry marinade, which draws some of the moisture from the duck so that the spices penetrate. Store in fridge for a couple of hours to allow rub to work. Stuff the duck cavity with the aromatics: the ginger, garlic, green onions, and tangerine peel. Fold the wing tips back under the duck and tie the legs together with kitchen string. Poke the duck breast a few times, piercing the skin.

Steam in Miele Steam Oven at 55C (130F) for 4 hours turning over after 2.5 hours. I use that temperate on as my infrared thermometer shows that the actual temperature in the steam oven is 72C (162F).

In a small saucepan combine the vinegar, honey, and soy sauce over low heat. Cook and stir for 5 minutes until thick. The duck will be lacquered with the sweet glaze, which caramelizes during roasting, making the skin crisp and brown. Baste before put duck in BBQ and a couple of times whilst cooking.

I has a Aussie single malt to steady my nerves. First try - very smooth & sweet.

Then place duck on a rack in a roasting pan and cook indirect on BBQ at 300C+ (600F) until well coloured. Internal temperature of duck is around 72C (162F). Stand for 15 minutes under tented foil before carving.

My wife makes a fantastic mash with potato, bussell sprouts and garlic. So that it what we had plus a pleasant bottle of Clare Cabernet.

When you stop horsing around it is time to fire up the BBQ & Smoker
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