Turkey? Not So Much.

Turkey is boring. It is the Soylent Green of the food world. Right up there with bologna and that mystery meat they served you at school. So, the arrival of Thanksgiving, with its attendant turkey-gorging imperative, doesn’t thrill me. But I have found a remedy for this obsession with large, boring, flightless fowl roasting. I cook duck. But not just any duck. I have happily co-opted my friend Jim’s recipe for roast duck. Actually, it is more like a guideline, because he really is a chef and assumes that I know what I am doing in the kitchen. It begins with rinsing the duck and scrubbing it with kosher salt, inside and out. Then, and this is the weird part, he insists that the duck be aged in the refrigerator for several days. Now, I am quite familiar with aging beef and have attempted it several times with varying degrees of success, but aging a duck? Of course, it works wonderfully, and when I figure out the best way to roast it after this bizarre aging process, I will faithfully report back. I am torn between low temperature for a while and then a quick high-temperature blast to crisp it up, or a high-temperature roast that requires constant attention because of all of the quite flammable duck fat oozing from every pore of the duck! They both work, but which is better? I’ll give you my impressions on Sunday, after I eat the duck that sits peacefully in my refrigerator.

3 Replies to “Turkey? Not So Much.”

  1. Have you tried getting a Heritage Turkey, rather than one of the tasteless supermarket birds? There are also Heritage Ducks and Geese and Chicken available as well.

  2. You’ve got a good point. There are high-quality turkeys that are much better than the typical supermarket bird. But also much more expensive. I’m not sure that spending the money on a good duck isn’t more worthwhile. I guess I have a soft spot in my heart, and stomach, for duck!

  3. Duck Redux

    So, the big duck roast was last night, and it went swimmingly. When I wrote about the superiority of duck compared with turkey, I also mentioned that I was unsure which cooking technique I would use. I went the low-temperature, then high-temperature route, not out of any strong feelings about its advantages, but because I timed the meal badly, and this method helped me salvage it. I roasted the duck for about one hour at 275°F, then let it rest for about 45 minutes. I returned it to the oven for another 30 minutes or so, but at a rocking …

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