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Last minute questions on dressing ducks

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by ScottyHOMEy, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. ScottyHOMEy

    ScottyHOMEy Songster

    Jun 21, 2011
    Waldo County, Maine
    The neighbor kid mosied over last weekend to ask if I could help/show-him-how to do up the six Pekin ducks he has. I've never processed a duck before, and I'd ask you to help me get by what I suspect is my overthinking on it.

    About all I'd thought of up to this point, and having done some research, is to use a little Dawn in the scalding water to help with plucking, that is reputed to be more difficult than chickens if only for the waterproofing oil in their feathers. The plan is to go light on the Dawn as my understanding is, also, that Pekins are bred to be easier to pluck than your average duck.

    Problem that's popped into my head tonight is more basic, and gets down to the gutting. Somewhere in my head (that bottomless fount of otherwise useless information) it sticks that any roasted duck I've ever seen on a platter still had the neck on it, perhaps just to make for as much of that yummy crisp roasted skin??? Or is my aging memory faulty?

    If it is traditional to leave the neck on, how does that affect the gutting? On chickens, I'm accustomed to taking the neck off first, which leaves the handy opening at the front of the cavity for curling one's fingers over to draw the paunch out. How might that work differently if, in fact, the neck is left on ducks?
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2011

  2. Ahab

    Ahab Songster

    Jun 28, 2010
    Another Waldo Countian?

    The Chinese leave the neck on because they typically hang them in a vertical duck roaster. Unless you have one of these, I'd take off the neck, just as you'd do a chicken. Leave the neck-skin flap on the carcass, and slice off the little pea-size oil glands embedded in the neck-flap fat.
  3. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Crowing

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    I never leave the neck on. The neck goes into the broth pot.

    If you roasted a duck with the neck on, I suspect that the neck would be all dried out and over-cooked before the rest of the duck was done.

    However, it could be done either way. Ask the person who will be cooking the duck whether they want the neck off or on.

    It is much easier to clean with the neck off. Ducks have an inflexible voice box and that is harder to remove if the neck is still on.
  4. ScottyHOMEy

    ScottyHOMEy Songster

    Jun 21, 2011
    Waldo County, Maine
    Quote:Ayuh. Tucked up into the corner Frankfort makes with Swanville and Monroe.

    In response to both of the kind replies (which arrived after we started this morning) and, having actually thought to check with the cook, we dispensed with the necks.

    And I had had the thought, Ahab, that the ducks roasted with necks on may have been my foggy recollection of Chinese presentations. Your confirmation provides some comfort that the fog is not as thick as I sometimes fear it to be! [​IMG]

    The way they're boned, a duck is definitely a different thing to do up. We made pretty good time of it, but I came away with the thought that we might have been done 45 minutes sooner if we had gotten the neighbor's wife (the cook in question) and her smaller hands involved. She did not make an appearance on the balcony (a Shakespearean reference to their deck) until she was sure that any carcass in her view would resemble something that she might put into the oven as opposed to one of her ducks, so I still have reservations as to whether we can enlist her help in the future.

    The neighbor from my other side brought over a couple of recently revealed roosters, a BR and a BA to wrap up the day. What with my learning curve and large hands on the duck part of the project, and it being Neighbor Nick's first time setting up, we made pretty good time. 2-1/2 hours for six ducks and two chickens, from lighting off the fire under the scalding pot to being all cleaned up and put away.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2011

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