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Home Cooking

Alton Brown's steamed/roasted duck parts - total, utter failure


Home Cooking 10

Alton Brown's steamed/roasted duck parts - total, utter failure

dmd_kc | Dec 23, 2009 05:26 PM

Don't you love the feeling of spending hours making a special dinner, only to have it end in something almost totally inedible?

I usually use Bittman's steaming/roasting method for a whole bird. But last night as I drifted off to sleep, I watched an old "Good Eats" wherein Alton quartered a duck, steamed it, then roasted it skin-down in a preheated cast iron pan in the oven. Theoretically, you get perfect, crispy skin on the meat, and you then repurpose the fat to wilt some chard and shallots for your side.

Looked up the recipe on and followed it to the letter. However, what I ended up with was leg quarters done in the time specified with a crispy skin that clung to the pan like latex paint (though it was good scraped off with a spatula -- which of course also flung hot duck fat on the wall). But the breasts needed a good 20 - 25 degrees after the specified seven minutes. Their skin was theoretically crispy on the outside, but almost none of the fat rendered out. When they finally got to temperature at almost 15 minutes (instead of seven), they were tough as an old tire.

Anyone done this recipe with success? I'm totally discouraged.

And I even burned the $%#%^ fat while rendering the extra skin. I reached that millisecond where it goes from perfection to "Uh oh, you stink, and now so do I."

Even my rosti, which I thought I could do with my hands tied behind my back, came out tough and gray.

This has not been my night.

Recipe link:

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