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Roast Ducks


Choosing and Trussing

Choose ducks with plump bellies, and with thick and yellowish feet. They should be trussed with the feet on, which should be scalded, and the skin peeled off, and then turned up close to the legs. Run a skewer through the middle of each leg, after having drawn them as close as possible to the body, to plump up the breast, passing the same quite through the body. Cut off the heads and necks, and the pinions at the first joint; bring these close to the sides, twist the feet round, and truss them at the back of the bird. After the duck is stuffed, both ends should be secured with string, so as to keep in the seasoning.


To insure ducks being tender, never dress them the same day they are killed; and if the weather permits, they should hang a day or two. Make a stuffing of sage and onion sufficient for one duck, and leave the other unseasoned, as the flavour is not liked by everybody. Put them down to a brisk clear fire, and keep them well basted the whole of the time they are cooking. A few minutes before serving, dredge them lightly with flour, to make them froth and look plump; and when the steam draws towards the fire, send them to table hot and quickly, with a good brown gravy poured round, but not over the ducks, and a little of the same in a tureen. When in season, green peas should invariably accompany this dish.

Time: Full-grown ducks from 3/4 to 1 hour; ducklings from 25 to 35 minutes.

Sufficient: A. couple of ducks for 6 or 7 persons.

Seasonable: Ducklings from April to August; ducks from November to February.

Note: Ducklings are trussed and roasted in the same manner, and served with the same sauces and accompaniments. When in season, serve apple sauce.


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The Book of Household Management (1861).

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