Since so many people gave me great advice about the duck, I thought I would post a follow-up. The basic summary, if your time is limited, is as follows.
- The Duck is finally out of the freezer and I am greatly relieved about this.
- Marnell and Chris pronounced it tasty. I’m not sure that I would go that far, but I could go so far as to say it wasn’t bad. The texture was just different, as many of you said. A little more rubbery and fatty than chicken, but overall not too bad.
Here’s how it went.
Weighing the Duck
I weighed him up on my postage scale and found he was just the perfect size for the recipe my cousin sent me. The recipe only took a few hours so I decided to try that one. You can take a look at it here.
Unwrapping the Duck
I didn’t even tell Chris, but I threw away the suspicious plastic packet of organs. I know people like giblets and kidneys and hearts and things like that, but I decided that roasting a duck was enough of a stretch for one day.
I got the duck spread out on the kitchen counter on a piece of wax paper, and found that I was confused about several things.
- There were two necks. Did they give me a swan by accident and it was too long to fit in the package so they cut it in half? Or, as my dad suggested when I shared the photo with my family, was it a Siamese twin duck?
- Also, which end had the neck on it? I know I’m revealing my ignorance, but I am not familiar with fowls. Do the wings come first or the feet? I finally decided the wings must come first, closest to the neck.
- The recipe says “Trim the wing tips if necessary.” Now what on earth does that mean? How do I know what the wing tips are? And how would I know if it’s necessary to trim them?
However, I decided to trim off the first section of wing, which left two wing pieces connected in the shape of a V.
Pricking, Salting, and Tightening the Skin
Next, per the recipe, I pricked the duck all over with a fork and poured boiling hot water over it. Now, it was really fascinating and fun to watch the duck skin shrink under the effects of the boiling water. It would almost be worth buying a duck just to see that.
I then rubbed it inside and out with salt and pepper, balanced it on a rack on top of a pan, and popped it in a hot oven. The recipe said 425 degrees, and I think I set it at 415 because our oven seems to be really hot.
Watching the Oven
I literally put a chair in front of the oven and sat and watched the duck for awhile. It was fascinating, in that it began to sizzle and pop, and drops of liquid fell from the duck into the pan.
Also, on the recommendations of some of you, I heard that roasting potatoes in duck fat is a delicious side benefit. So I roasted some of the excess fat in a pan on the second shelf, then threw potatoes in later.
Checking the Duck’s Temperature
Some of the online reviews on the recipe said that the roasting time was too long. So I kept checking the temperature. The packaging on the duck said it needed to be 165 degrees to be finished.
(By the way, we have a frightful problem of losing meat thermometers at our house. I think we’ve gone through about three this year. Marnell suggested that we might have to put them on auto re-order. )
I forgot to take a picture of us eating, but the duck did look excellent in its golden brown skin. The potatoes were a big hit as well, with just enough meaty flavor to make them a real treat.
A general shout out to Marnell and Chris – they are possibly the easiest two people to cook for in the world. Chris always says, when asked if he likes something or not, “I like food.” Marnell also will eat about anything. Both of them are full of opinions and memories about food, but they are consistently positive about what is put before them.
Chris seemed a little under the weather that night, not joking as much as normal. Normally, he follows our dinner table prayer “Amen” by adding “A women.” He was so slow in adding “A women” this time that I concluded he must be either sick or depressed. He did cheer up a bit by the end of the evening. I sent leftover duck home with him along with a piece of my aunt’s coconut cream pie. I hope it can cure whatever he is battling.
I got a question or two about buying books/audiobooks/ebooks direct from our store. I thought I would explain, especially with the Brady Street Boys mystery series arriving soon (although we currently have no audio for those).
- You can buy paperbacks and audio CDs from us and I will sign the books and ship them to you.
- Digital items like ebooks and audiobooks can also be purchased direct from us and are sent to you via a delivery service called Bookfunnel. The purchase requires an internet connection, although you are able to download both ebooks and audiobooks and read or listen without an Internet connection. Bookfunnel is simple and user friendly, and will even help you if you have problems.
- Ebooks through Bookfunnel. Bookfunnel gives you more options for reading than I could. You can download the ebooks to your Kindle or other ereader, or just to your computer. You don’t need an e-reader.
- Audiobook (From the White House to the Amish) through Bookfunnel. Again, you don’t need to have an audio-listening app. You can download the handy Bookfunnel app for free, or just listen in your browser.
Still no indication of when I will be taking a maternity leave from posting a blog online, but I do plan to disappear for about four weeks. At almost 38 weeks, things seem to be going fine, but there is no indication that our daughter is in a big hurry to meet us. 🙂 I am scheduled for two more days of work next week.
The nurse who trained me in years ago on PCU brought me a baby gift this week, and gave her prediction: 7 pounds, 3 ounces; 18 inches long; born on May 2nd (which is the official due date). Any other predictions from you about Miracle? I don’t have a prize for who gets the closest, but I thought it was a fun idea!
As I mentioned before, I will likely email updates during the maternity leave, so if you wish to see those make sure you are subscribed. Currently, the content on the email is very similar to the content online, but I tend to add more personal items or photos.