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Duck!

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Botch
Botch Posts: 15,711
edited November 2011 in Poultry
I brined and smoked a duck (my second-favorite fowl, can't afford goose anymore) and it came out pretty well, considering.  I let the temp get away on my Large; duck was done in less than two hours, around 400 F!  
Brine was 1/2 cup of salt, 1/4 cup sugar, two bay leaves, smashed garlic clove and 1/2 tsp peppercorns, and brined overnight.
I had planned on "spatchcocking" the duck ("spatchdraking"?) but the drip pan I'd picked up was far too small, so I used my vertical roaster.  Smoked with pecan.  
Although the meat cooked fine and the flavor was great, the high temp didn't allow the fat to completely render out of the skin before it was done.  Still, I have a half-cup of duck fat now to fry potatoes in later this weekend (which is better than sex).  The carcass is now bubbling away slowly in my stockpot, with some aromatics, for duck soup later this weekend too, nom!
___________
 

"May ya live as long as ya want, and not want for as long as ya live" is an Irish toast.  "Bread, cinnamon, eggs, and maple syrup" is a French toast.



Comments

  • Squeezy
    Squeezy Posts: 1,102
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    In your opinion, does the brining make much of a difference on duck?

    Someone mentioned earlier about poking lots of holes in the skin to help render more of the fat while cooking ... did you try that?

    Never eat anything passed through a window unless you're a seagull ... BGE Lg.
  • Botch
    Botch Posts: 15,711
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    I've never done a side-by-side comparison, but it does season the bird, salt-wise (didn't have to reach for the shaker at the table).  Whether the bay, garlic or peppercorns make a difference, I'm not sure (sure made the kitchen smell nice, though).
    And yes, I always poke the skin all over to let the fat run out.  But, as I mentioned above, I think a lower temperature would've given the fat layer more time to completely render out, the fat layer on the legs was still pretty prominent.  
    ___________
     

    "May ya live as long as ya want, and not want for as long as ya live" is an Irish toast.  "Bread, cinnamon, eggs, and maple syrup" is a French toast.



  • Squeezy
    Squeezy Posts: 1,102
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    Thanks for your response ... I wonder if 2 or 3 days in the brine would help the flavors penetrate better.
    Never eat anything passed through a window unless you're a seagull ... BGE Lg.
  • Botch
    Botch Posts: 15,711
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    I'm thinking the thick layer of fat on a duck keeps brining from penetrating thru the skin, but I'm betting the brine penetrates from the inside out via the cavity.  Also, some flavors are soluble in water, some aren't (some, like capsaisin, are soluble in fat, but not water).  
    ___________
     

    "May ya live as long as ya want, and not want for as long as ya live" is an Irish toast.  "Bread, cinnamon, eggs, and maple syrup" is a French toast.



  • gdenby
    gdenby Posts: 6,239
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    I suspect that you didn't get as much fat because the high temperature dehydrated the surface of the skin, and heat couldn't pass as easily into the fat is it would have sitting under a still moist skin.

    A goose may not be outside you budget if you consider how much good fat you would get from one. I've come to like goose as much for the fat as the flesh. If you like 'tater fried in duck fat, you'll love 'em in goose fat. 

    Schiltz goose farm sells rendered fat  (and everything else) online at good prices.