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    • springchicken
    • By springchicken 20th Dec 08, 8:40 PM
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    springchicken
    Duck for Christmas dinner help !
    • #1
    • 20th Dec 08, 8:40 PM
    Duck for Christmas dinner help ! 20th Dec 08 at 8:40 PM
    I have bought 2 ducks for Christmas dinner ,due too everyone saying they are fed up of Turkey !
    Have cooked lamb ,beef and pork before on Christmas day but have heard to give duck a try.
    However I havnt got a clue what to do for accompaniments ,flavouring for the gravy ,stuffing etc. Would the usual Turkey accompaniments work?:confused:
    I dont want to cook any flavours too extreme, as teenagers are incredibly fussy !
    Has anyone out there experience of a duck Christmas dinner ,any tips gratefully recieved .
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  • competitionscafe
    • #2
    • 20th Dec 08, 8:55 PM
    • #2
    • 20th Dec 08, 8:55 PM
    I love duck but have never roasted a whole one so not much use there - have just cooked breasts or legs in various recipes. Funnily enough I was looking at the whole fresh free-range ducks in Waitrose today and thinking that was a much more economical alternative to a goose at about a quarter to a third of the price.

    There are a few suggestions here though:

    Honey-roasted duck with creamed cauliflower
    http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1285/honeyroasted-duck-with-creamed-cauliflower

    Crispy Roast Duck
    http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3248/crispy-roast-duck

    Sage and Onion Sauce
    A great accompaniment to roast duck that can be made in advance
    http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3250/sage-and-onion-sauce
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    • comping cat
    • By comping cat 20th Dec 08, 9:08 PM
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    comping cat
    • #3
    • 20th Dec 08, 9:08 PM
    • #3
    • 20th Dec 08, 9:08 PM
    I love duck, its our favourite - we have one for New Years Day, and also for Easter. i cook it exactly as i do a chicken - i just drain the fat off more regularly (make sure you keep it, just like goose fat it helps make delicious roast potatoes!!!).

    From cookery progs, ive noticed that duck can be served rare (obviously with chicken it has to be well cooked) but ive never cooked it that way.
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 20th Dec 08, 9:23 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    • #4
    • 20th Dec 08, 9:23 PM
    • #4
    • 20th Dec 08, 9:23 PM
    Duck will take a slightly more robust flavoured stuffing than chicken or turkey, although personally I'd always be in favour of cooking the stuffing separately anyway as it makes calculating roasting times easier. Think along the lines of fruity flavours for the stuffing - maybe apricot and chestnut or cranberry and orange would be a lovely one.

    When you roast your duck pr1ck (for goodness sake - the language filters on here are patronising beyond belief at times!) all over the skin well with a fork - this will help to release the fat more easily and prevent the meat from being fatty - be careful not to overcook it though as duck can dry out quite easily.

    For other accompaniments you can do the same sort of thing as you would with a turkey dinner really - pigs in blankets, cranberry sauce etc. Veg wise I would think about something like red cabbage and apple - again, nice and fruity and with a sharp edge to cut any fattiness from the duck. Along with peas or carrots of whatever you'd usually have, plus some lovely crispy roasties...yum!
    Last edited by EssexHebridean; 21-12-2008 at 1:57 PM. Reason: Smutty-minded language filter strikes again!
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  • shammyjack
    • #5
    • 21st Dec 08, 10:14 AM
    • #5
    • 21st Dec 08, 10:14 AM
    There should only be two of you when you eat duck !

    You and the duck !
    • springchicken
    • By springchicken 21st Dec 08, 11:27 AM
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    springchicken
    • #6
    • 21st Dec 08, 11:27 AM
    • #6
    • 21st Dec 08, 11:27 AM
    Thanks for all replies so far .
    Any more ideas really appreciated ,am slowly forming some sort of menu in my head
    Any suggestions for what to add to make the gravy from the juices ?
    Would 2 ducks be enough for 5 adults ,2 teens ?
    TIA Springchicken
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  • mother noah
    • #7
    • 21st Dec 08, 11:33 AM
    • #7
    • 21st Dec 08, 11:33 AM
    Would depend on the size .There is not a lot of meat on a duck so may need half a duck per person . Made this mistake when newly married and thought the duck I had bought would feed four.We each had about a slice of meat each .
    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 21st Dec 08, 1:04 PM
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    Pink.
    • #8
    • 21st Dec 08, 1:04 PM
    • #8
    • 21st Dec 08, 1:04 PM
    Thanks for all replies so far .
    Any more ideas really appreciated ,am slowly forming some sort of menu in my head
    Any suggestions for what to add to make the gravy from the juices ?
    Would 2 ducks be enough for 5 adults ,2 teens ?
    TIA Springchicken
    Originally posted by springchicken
    Hi springchicken,

    My son requested a roast duck for his birthday tea this week and one large gresham duck was just enough for us (two adults, a 15 year old with a mansize appetite and an 8 year old) so I think two ducks will be fine but there won't be any leftovers. I served roast potatoes using the duck fat, braised red cabbage and apple (which can be done earlier in the day and reheated) and just plain steamed carrots and brocolli because it can be a very rich meal.

    This is the stuffing I did, I usually make it with goose but it worked well with the duck.

    breadcrumbs
    an onion
    a little sausage meat
    salt
    pepper
    sage
    the duck liver finely chopped
    two large apples, peeled, cored and diced.

    Blitz all ingredients in a food processor. I prefer to stuff the bird but if you intend to cook the stuffing separately don't forget to baste it with the juices from the duck for extra flavour. I haven't given quantities as I tend to cook by eye rather than stick to a recipe but it will give you an idea.


    For the sauce, put the giblets in a pan (this can be done the day before) and simmer gently for about an hour. Strain the stock and discard the giblets. Add about a third of a bottle of red wine and a couple of heaped dessert spoons of jam (cherry is my favourite but I only had blackberry in so used that instead). Simmer until the sauce begins to reduce and thicken but do keep an eye on it as it can burn if it reduces too much. This sauce is very rich and you won't need much. Once all the fat has been poured off you can add any juices into the sauce and reduce it further if you need to.

    You might pick up more ideas on this earlier thread:

    cooking a whole duck

    Pink
  • misskool
    • #9
    • 21st Dec 08, 1:52 PM
    • #9
    • 21st Dec 08, 1:52 PM
    we're having duck for christmas dinner too

    It's the same as any roast, I !!!!! the skin all around then roast it on a rack (otherwise draining the fat will be interesting). It can be slightly pink (when overcooked it goes really stringy and tough). The flavour is more robust but it'll go well with pretty much anything. Gravy from the juices when you rest the duck, and then use the fat to do the potatoes. I use a bit of five spice on the skin to crisp it up

    We're having roast potatoes, shredded sprouts with pancetta, home made chestnut stuffing, pigs in blanket, carrots and followed by a trifle.
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 21st Dec 08, 2:03 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    Hi Springchicken. You don't say how old the two teens are but they may well have adult sized appetites I'm guessing? As Pink says above you should just about get the birds to stretch but there won't be much if anything left. Plenty of accompaniments is probably the answer - if the roasties are good people will be quite happy to fill up on those, pigs in blankets and stuff.

    I made cranberry and clementine sauce to go with turkey last year but that would also work well with Duck - just cranberries stewed down gently with a spoonful or two of demerara sugar, then add a slosh of clementine juice (either freshly squeezed or asda do a bottled juice which is nice) and cook until the consistency is right. Nice and sharp to go with duck or goose. As for the gravy, I'd just make as normal - that way those who want a plainer plateful can have their meat, spuds and gravy as normal.
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    • JailhouseBabe
    • By JailhouseBabe 23rd Dec 08, 10:01 AM
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    JailhouseBabe
    Duck - ideas please
    Hello all,

    DD and I are having our first christmas home alone (I normally cook at my parents house), so we've decided to forego the turkey and try something different this year.

    I've bought a free-range duck that looks huge for just the two of us, so I'm sure there'll be lots of left-overs. Never having cooked duck before, I'd like to know if anyone has any fail-safe roasting tips, and ideas for left-overs. I wouldn't mind attempting a HM stuffing as well - but only if I can use what's in or source ingredients without having to visit a supermarket!

    JB x
    some people grin and bear it, others smile and do it
  • avinabacca
    When you roast it, make sure you gently p-rick (haha, fooled the swear-filter!) the skin all over, then rub it with salt, pepper and sprinkle very lightly with plain flour.

    Then roast it just as you might a chicken. The skin'll be lovely and crisp and tasty - you'll also end up with plenty of rendered fat from the bird (seriously, it'll be half a pint or so!) which make some of the best roast potatoes ever.

    DO NOT BIN THE FAT. Honestly - you need these roast spuds...... :-)
    Oh come on, don't be silly.

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    - it's not real!

    • IlonaRN
    • By IlonaRN 23rd Dec 08, 10:58 AM
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    IlonaRN
    Stuff it with apples and prunes, rub the skin with salt and pepper.
    Even if you don't normally like prunes, these end up going all sweet and mushy, and are lush!

    This is what one of the traditional Christmas meals in Denmark, and is my absolute favorite!

    Serve with roasties (which aren't traditional in Denmark, but are my favorite), and red cabbage.
  • afterglow
    ......dont want to shatter your optimism but you rarely get as muh of duck as you think, a very boney hollow bird,
    but on the plus side its very rich meat so a little goes a long way, make a really rich gravy with some red wine and redcurrant jelly and add ome nice stuffing to stretch it,
    leftover scraps even tiny shreds will be perfect for chinese duck pancakes
    Ingredients
    4 duck breasts, about 175g/6oz each, skin removed (USE THE LEFTOVERS!!)
    ½ tsp Chinese five spice
    freshly ground black pepper
    2 tbsp sesame oil
    100ml/3½fl oz hoisin sauce
    8-10 Chinese pancakes, warmed
    1 bunch spring onions, cut into matchsticks
    ½ cucumber, halved, seeds removed and cut into matchsticks

    Method
    1. Cut the duck into thin strips and toss in the five spice and pepper. Heat the sesame oil in a frying pan or wok and add the duck. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until cooked through, then add the hoisin sauce. Continue to cook for about 1 minute, until the duck is thickly coated with the sauce.
    2. Transfer the duck to a warmed dish, arrange the spring onions and cucumber in a bowl, unwrap the warmed pancakes and allow everyone to dig in and help themselves. The pancakes should be topped with some duck, spring onions and cucumber, then rolled up to resemble the Chinese classic.

    Tip:
    Chinese pancakes are available from most large supermarkets, but if you can't find them use mini flour tortillas instead, as they're about the same size and taste almost identical.
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    • Skint_Catt
    • By Skint_Catt 23rd Dec 08, 11:29 AM
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    Skint_Catt
    DO NOT BIN THE FAT. Honestly - you need these roast spuds...... :-)
    Originally posted by avinabacca
    *whispers* what do you do with the fat and the roasties? Do you pour the fat over the roasties before you cook them? Sorry - new to this cooking lark Thanks, C xx
  • competitionscafe
    I imagine you can cook the spuds under the duck with the duck on a rack?

    Otherwise, if cooking the spuds seperately - peel and halve/quarter the spuds depending on size, parboil for a few minutes, drain and allow to steam dry for at least 1 minute, heat duck fat in roasting tray, 'bash' spuds in the saucepan to fluff them up a bit, sprinkle them with a little semolina or flour (optional), add spuds to hot duck fat in baking tray, turn them around to coat in hot fat, cook in oven until nice and brown and crispy on the outside turning once or twice during cooking. Roast spuds in duck fat - done.
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    • angelavdavis
    • By angelavdavis 23rd Dec 08, 1:33 PM
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    angelavdavis
    I make an easy orange gravy by making up my gravy in the usual way (you can even use Bisto if HM gravy isn't your thing but use Chicken as its not too strong) and adding a tablespoon of marmalade, 2 x tablespoons orange juice and 1 sliced orange including rind. Leave to steep for half an hour, drain and serve with roast duck.

    I serve with roasted garlic mash and greens. Yum!
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  • Shindig
    Cover the bird up as well, there will be alot of fat collect in the bottom.
    It will make a right mess of your oven if you dont.

    To be on the extra safe side and collect stock at the same time, periodically pour the oil into a stock seperator.
  • misskool
    Roast the duck on a rack and the fat will drip to the bottom of the pan. Don't put the potatoes in the same pan or it will be deep fried potatoes in duck fat (especially if your duck is big)

    I rub the duck skin with my own blend of chinese 5 spice, pierce the skin randomly and roast in a medium-ish oven. Duck can be a little red but gets very tough when overcooked.

    You can make a lovely rich duck stock when you're done eating, skim off the fat that comes off (yes, there will be more) and add some broth mix. It's warming and makes a change from chicken stock.

    Leftovers, sandwiches with pickle (we have homemade pineapple, date and chilli chutney) or dress on top of a salad.
    • SmlSave
    • By SmlSave 23rd Dec 08, 3:16 PM
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    SmlSave
    Thank you soo much for starting this thread JailHouseBird. I've got my first duck too.

    Everyone I've asked has agreed that you need to roast the duck on a rack so it doesn't 'sit' in the fat.

    I've gone a step further to get crispy skin and am planning to use my blowtorch to crisp it up!

    I'm really looking forward to having a go cooking it and plan to use the carcass to make soup. Apparently if you cook the carcass in water with rice its very nice too.
    Currently studying for a Diploma - wish me luck

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