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The Unrivaled Practical Guide for Asian Cooking

What is the best way to ensure duck skin becomes really crisp and the flesh is not too fatty?

Make sure the skin is thoroughly dry, as soggy duck skin will never become crisp. Leave the bird unwrapped in a cool and dry place for a couple of hours before roasting to let the skin dry out. Prick the well-dried skin all over with a skewer or fork, being very careful not to pierce the flesh, then rub the bird with fine sea salt.

Weight the duck and calculate the cooking time, allowing 40-50 minutes per kg. Stand it on a rack in a baking dish. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C and roast the bird for the first 30 minutes, then turn down the heat to 180 degrees C and complete the cooking. Drain the fat from the baking dish at 20-minute intervals so that it does not burn.

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13:47:11 on 11/06/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Does wild ducks have a different taste compared to an ordinary duck?

Wild ducks (such as mallard, teal and black duck) have a stronger, slightly oilier taste. They can range in size from less than 500 g to 5 kg but most are smaller than domesticated birds.

The mallard is the largest and should be basted while cooking as it can become dry. Black ducks are slightly smaller with dark, oily meat and each will serve one to two people. A teal is a tiny, nice-eating duck and serves only one person. Ordinary duck recipes can be used for wild ducks, but you will have to adjust the cooking times and temperatures as wild duck should be cooked rare. It is best roasted whole, at a high temperature of 200 degrees C. The bird should be roasted resting on each leg alternately, then on its back to ensure even cooking.

For a small duck such as teal, allow 12-20 minutes for the whole bird, depending on its size. For a larger mallard, allow 20-30 minutes for the whole bird. Do not prick a wild duck all over before roasting it, as they are leaner than domesticated ducks.

13:16:47 on 11/06/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -