Oct 212013

Duck In Roasting Pan

I’m dedicating this post to Marcia Mayne at Inside Journeys who was very first food blog hop host I met. Because of her a world of new friends opened up that I continue to have and grow with to this day! Thank you, Marcia!

Last winter I was whisking through Walmart trying to set a new land speed record with the grocery cart. All of a sudden I came across an item that I decided to make on a total whim.  I wanted to know how to make your first roast duck a delicious success.

I was passing by the frozen bins and I have no idea how or why it caught my eye. But, I saw a white frozen chicken-shaped bag that said “DUCK” with an orange ribbon around the packaging. I thought you had to buy duck at a some sort of speciality store. I also saw Maple Leaf Farms on the package and I knew they were a reputable company. I started to go on my way then stopped and said to myself, “Hey, why don’t you see if you can make a roast duck.” I never had roasted one and I had only tasted duck once before in my life and I remembered that it was really good.

The next weekend I pulled my Maple Leaf Farms Duck out of the fridge (after properly and safely defrosting it for two days) and removed the wrapping. I saw an orange sauce packet and set it aside. Just like chicken and turkey I removed the giblets and neck. I tossed them in a trash bag but you can save them if you choose to and make a wonderful gravy. I decided not to since I had the orange sauce. Next, I throughly washed the duck off inside and outside then pat it dry and it was ready to cook!

I set the Maple Leaf Farms duck on a rack in a roasting pan. Make sure it sits high enough so that it will be above its own drippings in the bottom of the pan as it cooks. Then place it in a 350 degree oven at 30 minutes per pound. I have an ancient electric stove and the window has become a bit faded. I’m notorious for cracking open the oven door and peeking inside. This is an atrocious cooking no-no as you lose so much heat and that’s what they invented all of those handy-dandy new high-tech meat thermometers for. Regardless, I must peek though I am getting better at not doing that as much. And wha-laa the picture above was the final result! I was jazzed beyond belief! I anointed myself the honor to write a post on how to make your first roast duck a delicious success.

Side note, since I would be peeking anyway, I chose to constantly baste the duck with its own drippings. This is not in the instructions from Maple Leaf Farms and was solely my own decision. I’m thrilled I did it because I have no doubt it enhanced the flavor of the duck so much more and kept it super moist. But, you do not need to do this. The legs will move easily when it’s done and the skin should be golden in color and the internal temperature inside the breast is 165 degrees.

While the duck had been roasting I put together Giada De Laurentis’ Baked Potatoes With Parmesan Cheese and Bread Crumbs recipe here. Oh, and there’s mozzarella cheese in it also. I know, I know you’re licking your lips. While I was letting the bird rest I decided to go play with Phoenix as he had been so patient all day and we got into one of our wrestling matches in the yard.

Yes, I lost as always but it came to a halt as he looked at me, “Um Dad, is something still in the oven?”
Me, “Oh shoot! The baked mashed potatoes!” So yes, the top got overcooked a tad but that is all crisp cheese and bread crumbs on top just so you know. It was as delicious as ever and the rest of the dish was savory, succulent, cheesy mashed potatoes.

Back to the roasted duck which I let rest for 30 minutes. I carved it up and couldn’t wait to sample a bite before plating. I popped a piece in my mouth and let out a groan of delight. Oh my gawd it was good and I wasn’t done yet. I finished carving all of the meat off of it and removing the legs and wings. Then I put a little bit of butter and leftover duck drippings into a skillet and did a quick hot fry of some of the duck skin to make cracklings. I plated everything and spread some of the orange sauce over the meat.

Duck Plate

Did you know duck is considered a red meat? A little trivia there. I took my first bite with the orange sauce and the meat was so incredibly rich and had a depth of flavor that turkey and chicken could never possibly achieve in my opinion. It was so incredible tender, almost fragile, and literally melted in my mouth after a few chews.

Do you know what topped it though? The duck cracklings that I stood up for presentation at the back of the plate. To this date I have never in my life tasted anything so insanely, impossibly, deliciously good. Now you know how to make your first roast duck a delicious success and how easy it is.

I will absolutely came back around to making duck again this winter. The next time I want to make duck confit and a duck pizza!

Have you ever had duck and did you like it? Or share your first roasting success story!

This post is a part of Marcia Mayne’s Inside Journeys Foodie Tuesday blog hop so check it out on Tuesdays!

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Mike Vogler

I have been told (many times) that I really need to write a book about my life. The past 40+ years have been an exciting ride, and these days I find myself with a great many passions. However, I feel that this website is a much more personal way with which to share my musings, stories, commentary, and (of course) my greatest love... my Golden Retriever, Phoenix.

  34 Responses to “How To Make Your First Roast Duck A Delicious Success”

  1. Duck pizza….I don’t think I want an invitation to dinner that night.

  2. WOW, I am impressed again! And YUMMMMM wishing we were back in town and invited over for that duck dinner!! Did the kid get a little taste?? 🙂

    • Thank you, Sarah! I was so darn proud of myself. That would be fun to cook for you guys. No, kiddo doesn’t get people food. Well, not intentionally 🙂

  3. That looks absolutely delicious – kudos on your 1st roasted duck! Quack-Quack!

  4. I never cooked duck but your post really encourages me to give it a try!
    Yum! It looks simply DELICIOUS! Well done!

    • That’s been the the best and most enjoyable part of my personal cooking evolution, Rita. Is continually making things I would have never attempted before. And finding out how easy many recipes are that sounded impossible! 🙂

  5. Looks delicious 🙂

  6. I haven’t had duck for years but you make it sound delicious.
    Have a great weekend and thank you for stopping by my blog this week.

    • Great to hear from you, Jill! Yes, it turned out so great and it will be fun to do a variation on it again someday with a different recipe. You have a great weekend as well and thank you back at ya! 🙂

  7. I’ve never been a huge fan of duck, but then again, it’s been years since I had it. Maybe I was turned off because I kept envisioning the duck as I ate it. Ha! Anyway, yours looks like it turned out well, so perhaps I should give it a try again sometime. And I had no idea that it’s a red meat – very interesting!

    • I should have written in the post that I was a bit apprehensive, Dana. And there are those who just don’t care for it but I wonder if it’s a visual thing. Funny how it doesn’t bother folks with chicken but I guess they see ducks as being cute. I get that 🙂 Probably a lot of the same reason folks shy away from lamb 🙂

  8. This looks delicious! I’m not a big fan of duck but my husband is and I should give this to him to try. Interesting about it being red meat…who knew? 🙂 I’m curious about your duck pizza and hope you make it soon.

    • Thank you, Mary! I hope your husband does give it a try and maybe you’ll even have a bite and see if you can be “converted” 🙂 Yes, the duck pizza is something I really want to do. Maybe I will move that up on my “to-make” list 🙂 Great to hear from you!

  9. I’m impressed that you have the time and the energy to make this yourself. It looks so delicious. Beats any restaurant-bought dish any time!

    • I was definitely happy with the end result, Freya! It actually didn’t take that much effort in comparison to some of the other things I’ve made lately (but haven’t posted on yet). Thank you so much for the compliment! 🙂

  10. I have never tasted duck that I can recall. Your duck looks awesome! Looks very tasty! Especially the cracklings, I bet those were out of this world good! Good job my friend!

    • I really appreciate that, Tony! I was trying to find a way to best describe the cracklings. Maybe the most savory, mouth-watering, melt-in-your-mouth chip you’ve ever tasted? 🙂

  11. First of all, Mike, thank you!
    I’ve tried duck a few times but it was always at a Chinese restaurant. I’ve never had the confidence to try it at home so I applaud you for doing this. Huge kudos to you!
    Now that you’ve done it, maybe I’ll give it a try. I’m not a fan of turkey either and I’m so over chicken so maybe duck will be a great addition. But I didn’t know duck was considered red meat. Interesting, eh?
    Thanks for linking up this week, Mike.

    • You are very welcome, Marcia! I am very grateful and appreciative to you! Thank you for the compliment on the roasted duck as I really shocked myself on making it successfully. I hope you do try it sometime! Great to hear from you 🙂

  12. This looks insanely, impossibly, deliciously goOOOOOOod!!

    I thought you might, you know, have invited me over for some of this DELISH Duck w/ you and Phoenix.


    LOVE ! Xxxxx Hug! KISS!

    • We would love to have you over, Kim! But, ,we have to get Minnesota and Nevada squeezed together closer first! Thank you for the compliment as I was so proud. Hugs and kisses back to you from Phoenix and I, always 🙂

  13. Mike, your roast duck looks so yummy that I’m now literally licking my screen LOL. You know I don’t eat much meat nowadays, but looking at this makes me wanna try a piece!

    • Oh thank you, Agness! Ironically, that’s why I waited to respond to your posts because I know you don’t eat meat, my friend. But, you could at least try a bite of a crackling! 🙂

  14. I have had good and bad duck, so am neither a fan nor hate it. When it was good, it was very good!
    I tried roast lamb for the first time this weekend (also not a fan nor hate it). It fell off the bone and I was trilled to bits!

    • Your comment literally made me mouth water, Becc, because I absolutely love lamb! As you may or may not have seen in my previous posts 🙂 Just like lamb, duck is one dish that needs to be made right or both can turn off a person for good.

  15. I am salivating reading this. Nom, nom. My younger son loves duck and always wants to order it. We were in Beijing last week and actually had an authentic Peking Duck. It’s interesting what you say about duck counting as red meat. When we were in Paris last summer, I ordered Duck a l’orange and was quite surprised when the waitress asked me how I wanted it cooked, “Rare to well-done?”

    • I would definitely not want it well-done, Michele. Now you have ME salivating that you guys got to have authentic Peking Duck! That would be the best! Oh gosh talk about nom, nom there… 🙂

  16. I haven’t had duck before! Would love to try it out – never realised that it was considered a red meat?
    Love that you had time to play with Phoenix before dishing up your meal. Makes me hungry reading the way you describe it 🙂

    • Hey Lisa! I wasn’t kidding when I said the meat melted in my mouth. It was that tender. Nice side time with Phoenix but ooops on the second baking item in the oven! 🙂

  17. Yum. I’ve never actually tried duck before. I assume it tastes like chicken like most things. That would be a lovely alternative to a turkey for thanksgiving for those trying to shake things up a bit.

    • It’s like a really deep flavored, savory chicken to some degree Krystle. And that is fantastic idea for Thanksgiving! 🙂

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