When my niece Jo Ann and her friend came for a visit, i took them to the asian market and what caught our eyes was the sale sign - 98 cents/lb and it was for frozen ducks. Wow, 98 cents???, so cheap?? and while trying to get one, we realised that these words were printed on the packaging - missing parts - ha! no wonder so cheap!!. We were pondering as to which or what parts will be missing from the ducks, so, i bought 2 ducks and we had a guessing game to see who will have the right answers - one of ducks had a whole wing missing and the other the whole leg. We not only had fun guessing, we enjoyed the ducks too. This sale price never happened again and i have not bought duck since, but, I had an opportunity to cook a duck when Jack, Nellie's better half, gave me a whole duck, this duck is really whole, complete with head and feet, even the tongue is still intact. Jack told me that i should not have a problem roasting it and it really was, no problem. The biggest problem was to get the feathers or down removed. I can understand now how difficult it must be to shave or try to remove whiskers and i am glad that i am a female and chinese - no hair problem. Now, coming back to the duck, there were so much to remove and i kept removing and turning the duck around without realising that the poor duck is hanging by a short string. The twisting made the string so taut that i killed the poor duck a second time. Anyway, i managed to get as much out as possible and proceeded with the recipe. All in all, i think i did a good roasting job.
I will end this poor duck story with another one which is on a lighter note - smile!!
The Dead Duck
A woman brought a very limp duck into a veterinary surgery. As she lay her pet on the table, the Vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird's chest. After a moment or two, the vet shook his head sadly and said, "I'm so sorry, Cuddles has passed away." The distressed owner wailed, "Are you sure? "Yes, I am sure. The duck is dead," he replied. "How can you be so sure," she protested. "I mean, you haven't done ny testing on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something." The vet rolled his eyes, turned around and left the room, and returned a few moments later with a black Labrador Retriever. As the duck's owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table and sniffed the duck from top to bottom. He then looked at the Vet with sad eyes and shook his head. The vet patted the dog and took it out, and returned a few moments later with a beautiful cat. The cat jumped up on the table and also sniffed delicately at the bird. The cat sat back on its haunches, shook its head, meowed softly and strolled out of the room. The Vet looked at the woman and said, "I'm sorry, but as I said, this is most definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck." Then the vet turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys and produced a bill which he handed to the woman. The duck's owner, still in shock, took the bill. "$150!", she cried, "$150 just to tell me my duck is dead?!!" The vet shrugged. "I'm sorry. If you'd taken my word for it, the bill would have been only $20, but what with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan ...."
1 large duck - 4 to 5 pounds
1 liter water
3 tbsp maltose/honey
3 tbsp dark soya sauce
5 fl ozs rice wine
1 lemon - cut into slices
Wash and clean duck. Remove as much feathers or down as possible and wipe dry.
In a large saucepan, cook the glaze ingredients until maltose/honey has dissolved. Keep the glaze boiling while holding the duck by it's neck or with a sturdy 'S' hook over a wok, bath the duck with the glaze - the glaze has to boiling hot. Continue to bath the duck - all over until all the glaze is done.
Hang duck to drip dry, then place duck on a rack over a roasting/cake pan and place in the fridge to dry for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Heat the oven, the highest temperature available - i have a convection roasting function.
Place duck on a 'V' roasting rack which is sitting on a roasting pan, pour a full cup of water onto the roasting pan.
Put duck to roast for 15 minutes, breast side up, until the breast is beautifully browned. Turn duck over and roast the back.
Turn duck over with breast side up and lower the oven to 350f and roast duck for another 15 - 20 minutes. Check for doneness.
Cut duck up the chinese way and serve with a pomegrante molasses dipping sauce.
Pomegranate Molasses Dipping Sauce:
1/4 cup mild flavored honey
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
1/2 cup chicken stock
Combine ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until thick and syrup. Adjust taste with sugar if you do not like the tartness.