Preparing a duck for cooking can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. The following steps will guide you through how to remove the entire bird from its giblets and organs before roasting or pan-searing. Once this is done, your main task is to cook that beautifully roasted fowl into tender perfection.
Prep the duck:
We will need to begin by rinsing off the duck in cold water, brushing away any loose feathers. We want the skin of this fowl to be perfectly smooth for when we cook it with high heat, so spend some time making sure that no more strays are hanging on for dear life! If you do not plan on roasting the duck, you can skip this step.
We will need to remove the organs from within your duck before we cook it. This is done by gently squeezing on either side of its internal cavity and pulling out any remaining stones or other foreign objects that may be inside.
Now we will need to separate the organs from your duck: these can be placed in a bowl and set aside for later use if desired or discarded as you see fit.
Roasting or Pan-Searing:
We are now ready to begin roasting or pan-searing your duck! If you choose the latter, we recommend using a cast-iron skillet.
Oven-Roasting the duck: preheat your oven to 375°F. While it is heating, we will need to score the skin of our bird so that any fat can drain off as it cooks. If you do not have a sharp knife on hand, use a pair of kitchen shears instead!
The best way to heat duck legs confit is on the top rack of a low oven. This is the best way to get them crispy on top while leaving the fat sitting warm and runny underneath.
Pan-Searing the duck: heat your pan over medium-high heat and rub the duck’s skin with a tablespoon or so of oil to give it some moisture.
Once you have heated your pan, place your bird into the centre of its breast side down. This will allow for that beautiful crispy skin we were discussing above! Again, you can use tongs or a spatula to prevent the skin from tearing.
Now you have a perfectly roasted or pan-seared duck, and it is time to decide how you would like to serve it. We recommend trying it with some sweet potatoes, salad greens, and a nice balsamic vinegar reduction for that extra pop of flavour!