Duck must be one of the most overly complex and needlessly confusing recipes on the web. It has almost reached mythical status among home cooks for that reason. I found a lot of conflicting information, obscure french country recipes, and low and slow recipes.
So here is the issue: Duck has a big old layer of fat under the skin. This fat is both delicious and your enemy. It’s a pain to manage in the cooking process and causes all the back and forth. But my building of a duck recipe came down to three wants:
I found one recipe that called for four hours at 300 degrees. That’ll crisp a duck’s skin and also dry it to a sad sad state. Also, ducks have no white meat and it is all dark (no really). So final temp of 170-75 is desired.
So I used five cross references for the recipes. Thomas Keller, The French Country Cookbook, The Silver Spoon Cookbook, Culinary Birds, and Jaime Oliver. This brings us to the final recipe for you all.
This can be made without the sauce which is a bit more advanced in the prep style. So don’t let it scare you.
|One whole duck|
|Turnips (or any root vegetables)|
|One large leek, cut in strips|
|One large yellow onion or two small ones, sliced|
|Two cloves sliced garlic, diced|
|Two carrots, sliced|
|One Shallot, large dice|
|One head of garlic whole with skin sliced in half lengthwise|
|1 tablespoon butter|
|1/2 teaspoon Salt|
|For the sauce:|
|5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar|
|4 tablespoons Butter, cut into small slices|
|1 sprig tarragon, chopped but don’t chop it until right before you incorporate|
|6 basil leaves|
|3 crushed peppercorns|
|3 egg yolks|
|2 tablespoons tomato paste|
|2 tablespoons cream, or to taste|