Help! There is a duck in my kitchen (NAF)

A friend just gave me a whole duck (cleaned and frozen). What do I do with it? I am thawing it right now so I can cook it tomorrow, so promptness would be appreciated.

I have googled for recipes and I am leaning towards Asian, but I am open to anything.

Feel free to be vague in your suggestions, I am not normally a recipe follower. Inspiration is all it takes. I would like it, though, if you offer recipes you have prepared yourself and know of the potential pitfalls.


I can’t find the darn recipe right now, but on Easter I made a roast duck with a sour cherry and port sauce. It was fabulous, if I may say so, but now I can’t find the recipe to save my life. There are a bunch of recipes involving duck and cherries on and, but this one must have been from a book. But poke around - I think duck goes well with tart fruity things.


OOOhhhh. Need advice fast. I get it now. :slight_smile: Roast duck sounds great, so I agree with Ms. Luna above.

I wasn’t even thinking in that direction. Thanks.

Duck was pushed on the menu for tomorrow, since we had a schedule mishap yesterday, had to go for chinese takeout and yesterday’s meal was pushed to today. So one more day for tips and ideas.

Spatchcock it and grill it?

Cool. Learned something today already. I don’t think grilling is on the cards, though. The yard is still hurting a bit from all the storms.

I vote for duck and sausage gumbo, but it is a lot of work. Quarter the duck and skin it, saving the skin. Mix two cups of pineapple orange juice with half a cup of kosher salt and immerse the duck in it and put it in the fridge for at least two hours. Chop up the skin and put it in a skillet on medium heat to render the fat. You need 1/2 cup, so if you get less than that (and you shouldn’t) make up the difference with vegetable oil. After you render the fat, discard the skin and slice up about a pound of smoked sausage and brown it in the same pan. Set it aside when done. You can also use this time to dice one onion, one bell pepper and one stalk of celery. Put them in the fridge until ready to use.

Once the duck is done brining (and to be honest, I do this overnight), season it liberally with a salt-free cajun seasoning (which is mostly cumin, cayenne, paprika and thyme if you have to make your own). Brown the duck on all sides in the same skillet and set aside.

Time to make the roux. In a large pot, put 1/2 cup duck fat and 1/2 cup A.P. flour and stir over medium heat. You need to stir this almost constantly and pay attention to the heat, but it isn’t as hard as I was told. Get comfortable and keep stirring until the roux is a nice chocolaty color (and DON’T let it touch your skin). Add the chopped veg (called Trinity in LA) and stir until the onions are clear. Add some chopped garlic and cook for another minute. Add two quarts of vegetable stock and the duck and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook for at least an hour. When the meat is falling off the bones, take the duck out and remove the bones and tear up the meat a little. Add it back to the gumbo along with the sausage. Cook for another five minutes and serve over rice and garnish with chopped green onions if you want. Slice up a nice baguette so that you might get all that deliciousness.


Make duck in plum sauce, it’s delicious. You need to find plum sauce however, which in Europe can be found in asian/chinese shops. I use the brand Mee chum (the sweet kind, there is also a spicy kind I believe). I’m sure there are plenty of others.

The basic recipe is as follows.
Clean the duck and let it marinate in salty soy sauce for an hour. Dry the duck with paper towels (otherwise there will be too much soy sauce in the sauce).

Heat oil, braise the duck on all sides together with two chopped onions, two cloves of garlic. Add four table spoons of plum sauce, a few spoons of vinegar and a few table spoons of sugar.

Keep the duck heated, the fat of the duck should melt and start to ‘float’ on the sauce. You can skim the excess fat off the sauce if you want. Take care that the bottom of the casserole/cooking pan should not get charcoaled, so stir regularly. Add a few table spoons of water.

Let it simmer for 1 to 1.5 hours, turn the duck regularly. Taste the sauce in between, if you find it too sour, add sugar, if too sweet, add vinegar (it should be sour-sweet). You can also add a bit of water if the sauce gets too thick and starts to burn.

Take the duck out of the casserole and cut it in pieces. Let the sauce thicken on fairly full fire, while stirring all the while. Put the pieces of duck back in the pan and serve with rice and vegetables.

How about pomegranate khoresh (Persian duck stew with butternut squash, pomegranate, and walnuts)? My boyfriend once made me that with chicken, but I think it would be even more fabulous with duck. Or here’s an alternate recipe, without the squash - it’s a classic Persian dish.

The gumbo would be kinda cruel if I made it, considering I got this duck after I got another skinned and pieced. I was thankful and put it to good use, but my wife (who works with the duck maker) confided to him that I was disappointed that I didn’t get a whole duck with the skin on. Will defo keep it in mind for future reference, though.

Pomegranate khoresh sounds good but I don’t have some of the ingredients. Which sucks since pomegranates are in season here (although I still haven’t gotten any, I am sure I could get some from friends). I suspect I will be making a chicken version very soon.

The Plum sauce sounds easy and I have all the ingredients at home (for some strange reason, supermarkets here are terrible but they all have plum sauce). It does have a bit of the tangy fruity idea of upthread and sounds like a good alternative to my original Hoisin sauce plan, which I love but make all the time with chicken.

A general word of advice on cooking a duck - they’re full of fat. More fat than you would anticipate if you’re used to cooking chicken or turkey. So stick a raw potato inside the duck when you roast it to soak up the grease and put the duck on a rack so it doesn’t end up floating in grease.

Approach it slowly with a broom and make gentle shushing motions towards the open door, or call your Humane Society if there isn’t a body of water nearby…


(You could always try the recipe for chicken here, and adjust. Beer can duck?)

What? I have been called by name for advice? I didn’t realizeI was becoming so well known. :stuck_out_tongue:

I like roasted duck personally. But the spatchcock and grill option seems interesting. You would need to be careful not to start a fire from the fat rendering off of it though. I am sure someone with more experiance with duck will be alone with a good roast duck recipie soon.

Here you are, the ultimate authority in all things duck. :wink:

I ate Donald.

It must have been Donald Duck, for I have never seen another duck with suck rotten luck.

After four days in the fridge in different states of marinating and coating, the duck ended up in the barbie. I started marinating it for the Plum Sauce recipe offered upthread. Then all kinds of emergency schedule changes at my wife’s job, kept pushing the duck to a better day. Eventually the weekend came, and with it a promised bbq for my visiting brother. In the poor thing went.

I ended up coating it with a mutation of my typical hoisin-ish coating that I often do for chicken, as it was more suited for the barbie than the plum sauce. It came out delicious in flavor, but it was rubbery tough, as it was an old duck and grilling is not the way to soften hard meats.

Anyways, thanks to all for the ideas. I am definitely doing the pomegranate recipe with chicken once the cycle of family visits ends.