Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Roast Duck for a Happy Birthday

I know that bad food photography is a sin (the lighting in my kitchen is just terrible) but I just gotta show you what's cookin' here....

Prep is just cutting up some veggies, put in the oven, and that is all there is too it.

We are still in duck heaven around here. Yesterday I fixed up a roast duck that is perfect for a birthday celebration. Who's birthday? Our pal D, from the Gastronomic Gardener!  Unfortunately, he lives hours away so it was a virtual party - so we got all the food! By the way - has everyone seen his great new site? Wow what an inspiration!  And check out the food pix done right. I love D's approach - he's a regular guy with a job and family but he uses every inch of his in-city yard to grow fabulous produce. Then he cooks it up in a pan, deliciously.

There has been a rumor since the '70s that duck is greasy and hard to fix. Nothing could be further from the truth. This approachable roast duck is easy peasy and almost entirely hands free. I got this recipe from my pal Bourbon Red who really knows how to set out a supper fit for a king.

First, go and get your duck. If they aren't out there in the yard then check the freezer section of your grocery store.  Salt the duck inside and out and flop it into a baking pan. You should also prick the skin (not into the meat) all over so the fat can drain out.

Next, cut up some veggies. I used onions, carrots, potatoes and sweet potatoes. Then add in some fruit - you heard me fruit - pears, apples, prunes if you got 'em. I used dried mission figs. Pile the fruit and veggies all around the duck - and put an onion or whatever you got inside the cavity. Then spice it up the whole mess with thyme and marjoram - a few hearty grindings of pepper and voila. That's it.

Here's the trick to roasting it... low and slow for a couple hours. I know. Can you believe it? Just have your oven heated to 275-300* and leave it be for a 2 or 3 hours depending on the size of the duck. Mine took about 2.5 hours.  When one of the legs wiggled easily I took it out. At first I was so disappointed!  I was sure I'd over cooked it. But nope. This foolproof method will get you an entirely cooked duck with very little chance of messing it up. The meat was tender and delicious and the veggies were out of this world.

Tender and delicious...and oh the veggies...

Normally I like duck rare - like a steak. But this easy peasy method had me sold by the first bite. I'll try more complicated cooking techniques in the future but I'm coming back to this prize winning preparation for sure.

As I sat down to this superb supper (and was promptly surrounded by a bunch of over interested cats....) I raised a glass to my pal D.... to a good health, good gardening, and a very Happy Birthday!

Happy Thursday everyone! Now get out there and find yourself a duck to roast!


David P. Offutt - The Gastronomic Gardener said...

Wow! I have to say your birthday meal was better than mine! Love the duck! I am humbled bythe shout out. Thanks so much OFG!

Robin said...

Sounds wonderful! I have never made a roasted duck. This recipe sounds very easy.

Thanks for posting it! Happy BD to D!!

Ohiofarmgirl said...

And a very happy birthday and blog launch you to you, pal!

Give it a whirl Robin, its so easy. Glad you are back btw!

drypond said...

I've not done a roasted duck before, I did a couple of goose many years ago for my little brother & a few of his friends. I think I would love to try your recipe for the duck. Thank you for sharing.

Big Onion said...

We got two in the yard; just waiting for them to finish molting!

Can't wait!

Sonja said...

Well, happy birthday to you Mr. O. I had a Sandwich and Salad With some 2 year old Vermont Cheddar for supper. But it was really good.:) Always wanted to try duck, still trying to talk the husband into it.

JeffJustJeff said...

Yum. Ok, maybe I'm not so attached to the ducks. I think one of them gave me a dirty look yesterday. I'll have to dress him for dinner this weekend. And happy birthday, David!

David P. Offutt - The Gastronomic Gardener said...

Thanks for all the love folks! You guys are the best!

Coco said...

Yum! But I made the mistake of cleaning the oven before making a roast duck (DH was out of town - he doesn´t like it) and now I have to do it again because it´s all spattered and smokes.

I read somewhere that plucking a duck is harder because they´re ¨waterproof¨ so the scalding part is tricky.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Drypond - you gotta give it a whirl. Just delicious.

Big Onion - you wont be disappointed! Let me know how it goes.

Sonja - I think folks are kinda unconvinced about it in general...but its a great meal.

JJJ - yep. a little snuggle can go a long way around here. As for the malcontents - into the pot!

Best wishes on your new site and your very happy birthday, D!

Hi Coco! This low heat method doenst have the same splattering - but i'm sure a hot oven was totally covered. Having the right temperature (about 170*) and adding a big blob of Dawn dish washing liquid made plucking a snap. The soap cuts thru the "waterproofing" and lets the feathers get saturated. Easy peasy!

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