Or … how to deal with a messy, uncrispy duck might be another title. It wasn’t supposed to have been that way. I have prepared duck using this technique many times and the result has always silly-grin on people’s face pleasing. I had read about this technique as far ago as last century, probably in the mid 1990s. In a magazine article. The easiest way to cook duck is to – wait for it – boil it first!
The duck is simmered for about an hour in plenty of water and then drained. It’s surprising how much fat transfers from the duck to the cooking water. And yet ducks are so fatty in and of themselves that the prior boiling does not dry them out when it comes to roasting them. The result is genius! Crispy skin on the outside and tender, moist flesh within, not to mention very little fuss overall.
I decided I would stuff the boiled duck with one presimmon, one orange and a couple of bayleaves.
I dribbled a bit of persimmon over the duck and dribbled a bit of olive oil too – and then the usual : salt and pepper.
The oven was already preheated at 200°C.
About 35 minutes later, I took the duck out of the oven, rolled it on to the other side and squeezed some fresh orange juice into the roasting pain. Back in the oven again for another 30 minutes or so (i.e. roast for about 1 hour).
It looked good … well, on this side at least.
Not quite so appealing on the other side. Sigh. Hopes dashed and duck dilemma begins. It was all about the consistency of the skin – normally it is ingratiatingly crispy, this time it was ever so slightly on the soggy side, that is: it WAS cooked but it wasn’t crispy cooked. How very disappointing. What to do? Wash greasy fingers, dry fingers and then a bit of soul-searching head-scratching for a solution.
Mental light bulb switches on! Deconstruct the duck, that’s what. Prise the flesh from the carcass and present it that way …
I used two spoons.
And this was what was left – not to be thrown away, but to make a hearty soup, the next day!
Pour all the juices onto the duck.
And all’s well that ends well and, all things considered, a lot easier to serve too. We had some pan fried artichokes to accompany this dish; some plain rice would have complemented it too.
Note to self for next time: the duck must be roasted in a VERY hot oven: 250°C as opposed to the 200°C – and that would have given us the the crisp I was clamouring after.
And these bright little things did a good job – their nuance in the final count added a pleasant sweetness to curb the gameyness of the duck.