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DCF

Tough Ducks!!!!

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Went to a game farm last week and shot some ducks and pheasants. Was looking forward to eating some young, tender, corn fed ducks. Slow roasted them for 3+ hours,filled the cavities with onion, carrot, celery, had a little juice in the pan, took them out and they were tough. Done all the way thru, but very tough. What did I do wrong?????? How should they be cooked????.

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I am not a big fan of slow roasting waterfowl. MOST of the time I have done it it turns out tough. I am a firm believer in cooking waterfowl hot and fast and medium rare.

Cutting it in smaller pieces across the grain helps as well.

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I soak the breasts over night in pop (root beer/7up/coke...) I heard the carbonation helps tenderize the meat and helps take out any gamey flavor. Then I wrap in bacon and add lawry's and sear on the grill-tastes like steak!

redhooks

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Quote:
Done all the way thru, but very tough.

IMO, I think there's the problem. I try to never fully cook duck. Medium rare at most. The bloody meat might gross you out knowing it's duck, but I think fully cooked duck can be gross tasting.

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I am a firm believer in the slow and long roasting method. Sometimes, I even go to the big crockpot.

With adequate moisture, a decent cover, and proper time the meat should just about fall off the bone (or at least begin pulling away).

You might not have done them long enough. Older birds will sometimes require more time, and every now and then you get a bird that just doesn't cooperate.

The method you described is very similar to what I do - but I also cover the ducks with onion slices and some bacon strips. For extra moisture, I add either apple juice or vegetable broth.

If the moisture runs out, your ducks may be useful for re-soling your hunting boots.

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IMO, its hot and fast cooked to medium rare, or a long slow roast sealed up tight in an oven bag with fruit and vegetables.

Being they were farm raised ducks doesn't guaranty fat and tender. I've raised Rouen(looks like a mallard) ducks and won't do it again because they like pigs just to get a little weight on.

Chuck, remember the ice fishing trip where Tom made the roasted duck. That was good duck.

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Placing the ducks breast down in a cooking (oven) bag is the key. Like others have said, wrap in bacon, add plenty of onion, and then add water (so that there's a minimum of an inch of water in bottom of bag) and slow roast at 350 for 3 1/2 hrs. or until the meat falls off the bones. Then, pour all the juice from the cooking back in bowls and along with the pieces of bacon onion so that you have an 'au jus' to place the duck in. I'll entirely de-bone the duck and place all the meat into the juice bowl, add a little salt and pepper and it's awesome and very juicy. I'll typically place about 6 ducks (woodies/teal) in a single oven bag, and be sure to add enough water so that you have enough juice at the end. I guarantee you will like this. **When cleaning ducks, skin them and leave the breast cavity attached, minus the legs. Wrap entire breast with bacon and use half a tooth pick to keep it in place.

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Medium rare is the way to keep it tender.........

Did up some duck breasts the other night....little salt/pepper on the duck, sear in a HOT pan (w/olive oil)for approx 1.5-2 min per side. Put them into a preheated oven at 325 on a cookie sheet.

While the duck finished cooking (to medium rare) deglazed the pan with chicken stock, dropped in some woodear, oyster, and baby portabella mushrooms. While these were cooking down, tore up some fresh sage leaves and threw those in also. When the mushrooms were done, added some fresh cream to finish the sauce.

Took the duck out of the oven, sliced it on the bias, put the mushroom/sage/cream mixture over the top of it.

Wife said it was one of the best dishes she's ever tasted........

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