Sunday, June 20, 2010

Duck, Two Ways

Okay, I have never cooked duck before. Whenever I wanted duck I would just ask my dad for it and he cooked it for me. Luckily for this dinner I was having my good friends over who would understand and do not mind being experimented on. Also, I make enough food on these evenings so that no matter what happens, no one will starve. Something is bound to turn out.

I did not really have time to shop around for duck. I only had my local grocery store and they only sell one kind of duck. Whole frozen duck. And you had to get the orange sauce pack to boot which really bugged me because you are paying by the pound and I did not want that orange sauce pack, but so be it. So now I had my duck. What to do with it? I knew I wanted to cook the breast part medium rare and I knew the rest had to be cooked longer, so I combined 2 recipes I found to make my meal.

We all loved the breast and I will seek out a place where I can just buy those, however, the port wine sauce turned out really good and you need the duck bones, gizzards and carcass to make the stock for that so I guess you still have to buy the whole duck too!

Duck, Two Ways

One 5 lb Duck
2 onions
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1 inch sections
1 stalk celery, cut into 1 inch sections
1 tbls butter
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 cup ruby port
1 lb parsnips
1 1 inch piece fresh ginger
3 tbls lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon rind
salt and pepper

Cut the duck into 2 breast and 2 thigh sections, removing the back bone. Remove the wings and bone the breast portions. Cut the wing tips off the wings. Put the wing tips, neck, gizzards, and breast bones into a pot. Add one onion, sliced, the carrot and the celery. Add 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for an hour and a half. Strain. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of stock. Put remainder back into the pot.

Heat oven to 350. Chop the 2nd onion. Peel the parsnips and cut them into 2 inch by 1/4 inch sticks. Season the duck wings and leg/thigh sections with salt and pepper. Heat a large non stick pan with lid over medium high heat. Brown the duck on both sides. Remove the duck. Add the onion and parsnips and saute 5-6 minutes. Add the lemon juice, lemon rind and the 1 1/2 cups of stock. Place the duck thighs and wings over top of the parsnips. Cover the pot and bake for 1 hour. Set aside and let rest until serving time, up to 1/2 hour.

Melt the butter in a skillet and add the sliced garlic. Saute until the garlic starts to get lightly browned. Add the port and the remaining duck stock. Boil until reduced to 1 cup. Keep warm.

Season the duck breasts with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet over high heat. When hot add the breasts skin side down and cook for 6 minutes. Turn and cook an additional 6 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest for 6 minutes. Slice and serve with the port sauce.


  1. How different do you think Store bought duck tastes compared to wild duck? I always wonder why people would pay so much mush for it we I can go out back (during season) and just shoot one.

  2. I actually have never had a wild duck so I do not know if there is a difference. From what I have heard, anytime you go with the wild birds such as geese and turkey, they are leaner and more gamey. I do not know anyone who hunts duck so my chances of being able to compare the two are probably not happening anytime soon. If you get the opportunity to please let me know!

  3. what a great way to prepare duck! your entire meal looked incredible! I do love a good cheese dip too!

  4. Thank you Dennis. The cheese dip came out great. Do try it.


Comments welcome! I look forward to hearing from you!