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Duck Recipe: Why Didn't It Work?

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Duck Recipe: Why Didn't It Work?

Joan | Dec 26, 2002 12:18 PM

Well, it's not a recipe really. It's more of a technique. Been wanting to try it for years. Jean Anderson credits Ben Etheridge in her Jean Anderson Cooks. She says the technique guarantees toally fat free, easy to eat, do ahead duck. Sounded good to me, and finally got around to trying it yesterday.

Basically, you steam the duck for an hour and a half, cut it in half and remove all except the leg bones, then refrigerate for up to three days. Just before serving, you broil the duck halves for no more than 5 to 8 minutes until bowned and crispy.

First, I expected the steaming to get rid of nearly all the fat. It didn't. There was still a good eighth-inch-thick layer under the skin. I broiled the halves for 8 minutes, then 2 minutes more, and then 2 minutes more. They looked gorgeous. They tasted great. (The orange sauce that accompanies the recipe was, by the way, outstanding!) They were moist. But they weren't crispy, and they certainly weren't fat free. There was still that one-eighth-inch layer of fat under the still not crispy but lovely brown skin.

Confession: I didn't preheat the broiler. The recipe didn't say to do so and Jean Anderson's recipes are usually so precise that if she doesn't tell me to do it, I don't. Could that have been the whole problem?

Anyone tried this technique? It would be a really outstanding do-ahead party dish if I could get it to work. Any and all suggestions greatly appreciated.

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