Oven-baked duck is a festive and very tasty dish. Duck is an excellent addition to a family dinner. The main thing is to cook the bird correctly, and then the guests will be delighted. We asked Vlad Piskunov, the chef of Matryoshka restaurant, about the secrets of duck cooking.
How to choose the duck
It is best to buy chilled, not frozen, poultry in a store or at a market. Give preference to a product without brightly colored packaging, so that it is easier to assess the quality of the product. Skin should be light in color, without any down or feather remains. Fresh duck meat will be slightly moist and the skin not sticky. If you fear that the duck may be too fatty, take the duck, its meat is leaner.
Before buying, you can smell the meat – if the smell is pungent, do not take such a duck, it is probably spoiled.
How to cook duck
After buying the carcass should be washed and remove excess fat from it. Do not cut it off completely, otherwise the bird will be tough. If you do not want to bother with the by-products, buy pre-cooked duck.
– Winter is a good time to cook domestic ducks and geese. They have fattened up enough fat and gained muscle mass. The meat of ducks now is tender and flavorful. It is better to cook poultry in an oblong form – a duck-box. It is a metal or ceramic container with thick walls and an oval shape with a lid. The bird will not dry out in it, and fat and meat juices collect in the form. The whole bird is placed in the duck pot, where you can add vegetables or cereals.
What to cook duck with
One of the most popular culinary duos is duck with apples. Apples absorb excess fat and make the meat more juicy due to the acid released. The ideal variety of apples for this dish is anthonovka. If you still have a lot of buckwheat left in your house from spring, you can stuff the duck with this grits. Buckwheat will absorb the flavor of the bird and become a great side dish. You can serve cooked duck with cranberry sauce – its sourness perfectly complements the taste of tender meat.
Classic duck with apples
Tender meat is rich in protein and fat. Serve the duck as a hot and hearty lunch or dinner.
Duck 3 kg
Salt 2 г
Pepper (black pepper) 2 г
Thyme 2 sprigs
Apple 1 kg
Onion (onions) 1 pc.
Garlic 3 cloves
Rub the duck on all sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper. You can also use herbs and lemon juice. Fill the bird with apple slices.
In the bottom of the duckpot put the onion slices and thyme sprigs. Place the duck, breast side up, tucking the wings behind the back. Tie the legs together with string, even if you are cooking the duck without stuffing.
Cover the duck pot with foil or a lid and place in a preheated 180 degree oven for 45 minutes.
Remove the foil or remove the lid and continue to bake the duck until cooked through, just as long.
Serve the duck hot.