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How to cook: Duck

how to cook duck

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26th October, 2018

If you've bought a frozen Duck then the most important part is to get the bird defrosted completely before we even consider preparing it for the oven. I would usually allow the Duck a minimum of 24 hours in the fridge to fully defrost but to make 100% sure you can leave it for 48 hours. The larger your frozen bird; the longer it will need to defrost.

If you need to speed up the defrosting process you can remove from the fridge and keep it in a cool room (not warm!) for a few hours

Lets work out the cooking time using the weight of the bird. It's vital that it gets enough cooking time to cook properly though not too much that it overcooks

Cooking Times by Weight

Size (kg) Time
2.0 kg 1 hour, 40 minutes
2.5 kg 2 hours, 00 minutes
3.0 kg 2 hours, 20 minutes
3.5 kg 2 hours, 40 minutes
4.0 kg 3 hours, 00 minutes

Assuming that the Duck is defrosted now we can start to prepare the bird. I usually do this the day I'm roasting as it's really quick.

Remove any giblets from the inside of the bird and keep to one side. Once cleared, pat the inside and outside dry.

Using a skewer, prick the outside of the bird; especially under the wings and places where there is a lot of white fat beneath the skin. This will help to drain the fat from the bird when roasting and leave a crisper skin.

Give the outside a good seasoning with salt and pepper and leave the bird in a roasting tray for a good hour to come to room temperature before roasting

Now we'll cook the bird. If you've placed the prepped bird beforehand and left in the fridge; get it out and leave it on the side an hour before it goes into the oven

Pre-heat the oven to 200C

When the oven is at temperature, place the roasting tray with the Duck into the oven

When the Duck is cooked (based on cooking times we worked out earlier), remove the Duck from the oven and remove it from the roasting tray. Wrap very loosley in tin foil to rest for a minimum of 15 minutes as this lets the meat juices settle and makes for easier carving.