Roasted duck

With roasted duck on the Christmas dinner menu, I was able to try a recipe from Duck, Duck, Goose, by Hank Shaw. I already knew that roasting a whole duck is more complex than roasting a chicken because duck legs and thighs must cook to a much higher temperature than the breast meat. Hank Shaw states that the difference is about 40'. To deal with the difference the breast meat is cut off the bone in the middle of roasting the bird.

 After bringing it to room temperature,trim the excess fat and remove the fat pockets from between the skin and meat. I will save and render the fat later.

After bringing it to room temperature,trim the excess fat and remove the fat pockets from between the skin and meat. I will save and render the fat later.

 Pierce the skin all over without damaging the flesh. This will allow the skin to crisp during cooking.

Pierce the skin all over without damaging the flesh. This will allow the skin to crisp during cooking.

 Rub with lemon and salt. Place the lemon and a trimmed garlic head in the body cavity.

Rub with lemon and salt. Place the lemon and a trimmed garlic head in the body cavity.

 Roast on a rack in a 325' oven.

Roast on a rack in a 325' oven.

 Remove from the oven when the breast meat reaches 130-140'.  It took about 45 minutes to reach 130". In the future I will probably allow the temperature to reach 135'. 

Remove from the oven when the breast meat reaches 130-140'.  It took about 45 minutes to reach 130". In the future I will probably allow the temperature to reach 135'. 

 Carve off the breast meat and tent with foil. Return the roasting pan to the oven and cook until the thickest part of the thigh reaches at least 165'.

Carve off the breast meat and tent with foil. Return the roasting pan to the oven and cook until the thickest part of the thigh reaches at least 165'.

 Using some of the rendered duck fat, sear the skin of the breast cutlet until evenly browned.  Although the recipe did not call for it, I cooked the meat side of the cutlet too.  

Using some of the rendered duck fat, sear the skin of the breast cutlet until evenly browned.  Although the recipe did not call for it, I cooked the meat side of the cutlet too.  

 Salt and slice.  Since there were only four of us at the table, we did not wait for the legs and thighs.  The recipe recommends cutting them off the carcass and searing them too.

Salt and slice.  Since there were only four of us at the table, we did not wait for the legs and thighs.  The recipe recommends cutting them off the carcass and searing them too.

If other recipes in Hank Shaw's book are as delicious as last night's roasted duck, Lilac Hill's plan to increase the size of our duck flock is a good one.