This is the follow-up post to Food Foray # 3.1.
The “Oregon Duck Game Day” food theme to cheer on the Oregon Ducks in the Rose Bowl today turned into an experiment with roasting a duck; no pun intended. I’ll play with a “green and yellow-themed meal” another time. (Note to self for future reference: when you think you’ll have enough energy to shop the markets for a themed meal the morning after a New Year’s Eve celebration, think again.)
I grew up eating Peking-style ducks and rotisserie ducks, either in Little Saigon (Westminster, CA) or purchased from little shops that specialize in roasting ducks and hanging them by their necks in the window for purchase.
Note on Twitter: It’s 2010 (Happy New Year), and I just signed up for a Twitter account yesterday. Better late than never, right? I’ll be using Twitter to solicit input and advice from the blogging community. I’ll also post announcements from time to time, so please follow!
For the roast duck, I stuck with an Epicurious search, mostly because by the time I was done reading through relevant recipes and reviews, Barry had watched an entire football game on the couch. The test recipe from yesterday was a hybrid of two different recipes, and also takes into account some of the user comments (the credits are listed below). The glaze is a unique concoction; thanks to my mom, I always have hoisin sauce in the fridge, and decided it was needed for the duck. I was also able to use a leftover chunk of ginger from this week’s beef pho. And the glaze… good thing I had a 2003 Ponte Family Estates Zinfandel Port from Temecula, CA lying around. It worked out perfectly.
Positives: The skin didn’t burn, and the flavor (including the port sauce) was wonderful.
Negatives: Duck was undercooked; skin was not crispy. Very expensive experiment (will be asking hunting buddies to donate their ducks for future experiments). Also, my meat thermometer was not very reliable. I suspect it’s because I never got it into the “thickest” part of the meat.
Notes for Next Time:
- Separate skin from breast. Baste under skin before putting duck in oven.
- Add pressed garlic from 2 cloves to glaze. Add more garlic to cavity.
- Try steaming duck instead of scoring.
- Don’t use aluminum foil.
- Add additional roasting time: 30 minutes + 20 minutes + 15 minutes.
P.S. Oregon Ducks: I still love you. We’ll get ‘em next year!
Please note that the recipe has not been finalized; the below is what I did to achieve the results I had. The recipe is listed here as a note to myself for future reference.
Annotated notes are written in olive.
Roasted Duck with Hoisin Soy Glaze and Port Reduction
~ Serves ~
~ Ingredients for Duck ~
- 1 5-lb. whole duck
- 2 tbsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1 branch fresh thyme
- 6 garlic cloves
- ½” chunk fresh ginger
~ Ingredients for Glaze ~
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp. Hoisin sauce
- 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. ginger powder
~ Ingredients for Port Reduction ~
- Duck neck
- 1 shallot
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 branch fresh thyme
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup port wine
~ Preparation ~
Preparation Time: 2 hours
Take duck out from refrigerator, let warm up to room temperature for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400º F. Smash all garlic cloves. Slice shallot. Set on counter: salt and pepper in two separate prep bowls, ginger, thyme, garlic cloves.
Rinse duck clean, trim off excess fat from cavity and pat dry with paper towel. Score duck skin (both sides) with diamond patterns about 1/2” apart, especially in really fatty areas. Set duck on rack in roasting pan on kitchen counter. Cut neck in half or thirds (small enough to fit in saucier). Some recipes indicate that you should pierce the skin of a duck, but I found that to be too time-consuming, so I opted to score – note that you’ll need a sharp knife to be able to do that successfully. There is a Tyler Florence recipe out there that steams a duck to render the fat, I might try that instead sometime. Also, I thought that scoring the duck might make a terrible presentation, but it actually didn’t; it turned out quite nice.
Boil 2 cups of water in 2-qt saucier and pour over duck to tighten skin; then tilt duck to drain out water from cavity, let cool and pat dry. Return drained water to 2-qt. saucier.
Use about ½ tbsp. salt and about ½ tsp. pepper inside the duck cavity. You can use the leftover salt for any side dishes you’re making to go with the duck.
Stuff the cavity with thyme, ginger and 6 of the smashed garlic cloves.
Prepare basting sauce by mixing together all of the basting ingredients into a bowl. Baste the whole duck (you’ll have some sauce leftover for more basting later) and then set the duck breast-down on roasting rack. Cover with aluminum foil, place in oven and set timer for 30 minutes. I used foil because I was afraid the sugar content in the glaze would blacken the skin. I probably don’t need it next time.
Meanwhile: in the saucier, simmer duck neck with remaining 2 crushed garlic cloves, branch of thyme, sliced shallot and chicken broth. After 30 minutes, add 1 cup of port and let reduce until
sauce thickens to syrup (a little more than ½ cup net). Strain and pour into small gravy dish. If done ahead of time, keep warm by placing dish into small pot of warm / simmering water.
After 30 minutes, discard foil, tilt duck butt-down to drain out fat in cavity and turn duck over (breast-up), baste with sauce and return to oven for 10 minutes. If desired, remove accumulated fat for another use. I know now that 10 minutes really should be closer to 20. That’s what I was aiming for, but I got scared when my meat thermometer jumped to 170º F.
After 10 minutes, tilt duck butt-down to drain out fat in cavity and turn duck over (breast-down), baste with sauce and return to oven for 10 minutes. If desired, remove accumulated fat for another use. Duck is cooked when thickest part of thigh registers 170º F. I know now that 10 minutes really should be closer to 15. Next time.
Let duck rest on counter for 15-20 minutes, then serve immediately.
Reference Sources via www.epicurious.com: 1) Crisp Roast Duck, Gourmet: September 2006; 2) Roast Duck with Port-Garlic Sauce, Bon Appétit: December 1997