Thanksgiving Day Duck

Posted by johngl

Home demolition and Thanksgiving turkey just do not make for a good combination, especially since said demolition takes place within several feet of the food preparation area.

Seeking out a simple, yet delicious substitute for the spared gobbling fowl, most glorious spousal unit and myself, in true Pilgrim tradition, rummaged around the freezer and, what ho! a pre-roasted duck appeared.


Above, the prepared duck halves are submerged in just over a quart of duck fat. If you don’t have this in your larder, you should be ashamed.

Putting a lid on the pan, said submerged duck is cooked in a 200°F for two hours — and not a minute more.

For this two hour period, we made good use of our time and ripped apart a rather useless closet.


What, you thought I was kidding about the demolition?

After tidying up a bit, it was time to finish up with the Holiday food prep.  Firstly, one must tend to the fats.


Peeling the skin off of the now extremely tender duck — since confit process doesn’t do much to make skin crispy — I spread out the skin in a 10″ pan and rendered the remaining fat out of it. There’s more fat in there than you might think…close to a quarter cup.

We also decided rice would be a nice accompaniment, and commenced to cookin’ some.

Assembling it all took just a few minutes.


That shark fin looking thing sticking out of the rice is the crispy duck skin. That’s a skinless duck breast to the right. The sauce is a duck reduction seasoned with fresh ground pepper, pequin powder, thyme, sage, a couple of ounces of a 1999 Chateau Margaux — the rest of which was consumed with dinner — and white truffle salt.

A little demolition can’t be allowed to interfere with a good meal.

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About johngl

A bit of a wildman, John hails from the Midwest: A land of corn, cows, pigs, and a host of other healthfully meaty pursuits. Born on a dark and stormy night in late Fall, John grew up as the son of a meat cutter. There was always plenty of meat at hand. While not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, his family certainly ate well. According to his father, that was the whole point.

2 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Day Duck

  1. John,
    Glad to see you are back. For next Thanksgiving you should Sous Vide the Turkey. Break up the turkey into light and dark meat. Brine over night. Then season with salt and pepper and quarter stick of butter and into the bags. The breast is cooked at 146 degrees for 2.5 or 3 hours and dark meat 176 for 8 to 10 hours. Then pat dry skin and brush with melted butter and under broiler until skin is nice and brown.

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