Turbo Duck (Crispy Skin Roast Duck in 90mins or less)
Say hello to my 90-minute or less Turbo Oven Roasted Roast Duck!
This easy to prepare feast of a bird was our 2012 Christmas Eve Dinner. I can’t say it was inspired by anything except that I bought two separate things on a whim: a can of La Chinata Smoked Paprika Powder, and a headless duck at the Asian supermarket because I needed to make Christmas Eve dinner. I originally wanted to cook this in a conventional oven, but I was warned by my friend Carol that roasting duck in an oven will definitely make a mess in my oven because it will splatter a lot. Cleaning a Turbo oven is a lot easier, and I didn’t realize then that roasting the duck in a conventional oven will take four hours.
Four hours?! Turbo Oven owners, unite!
As soon as she said that, I decided to cook my bird in a Turbo Oven. At the end of this recipe, you will find a link to roasting your duck in a conventional oven.
- 1 headless duck (I say headless because that’s what the label said so!)
- Smoked Paprika Powder (about 2 tablespoons if you want to measure; I used two huge heaping teaspoons)
- 1 medium onion
- 6-8 cloves of garlic (about half a head of garlic)
- whole black pepper (about 10-15 pieces); can substitute regular ground black pepper
- kosher/rock salt to taste + extra for cleaning the duck
- Turbo Broiler
- Food chopper/Cuisinart
- Plastic Wrap
- Butcher’s String for trussing (I use white knitting string. It’s what I have available on hand.)
- Tweezers, optional
- Give the duck a gentle scrub with kosher salt all over. This step is only for cleaning and will not make the duck salty. (You read that right. You will give the bird a salt scrub. This is a Filipino way of cleaning chicken – imho it makes the chicken have less scum when boiled)
- After giving it a good salt scrub, rinse well.
- Upon closer inspection, you may find some small quills (feather ends) sticking out on some parts of the duck. You may or may not remove these. If it is especially disturbing to you, just pick them out with a tweezer. This step is not easy, nor essential. Just pick out the biggest ones that bother you and you’ll forget about the ones you can’t remove once the bird is done.
- With a very sharp knife, make slits on the duck’s chest but be careful to not cut through the fat. These slits drain the fat out of the bird while it cooks. Don’t worry – ducks are very fatty. There’s really a lot of fat that could go around.
- In your food processor, combine the paprika, onions, garlic and pepper.
- Pulse the processor until you get fairly fine chop, then add about 1 tbsp of water to aid it into a very thick consistency. You are trying to achieve a paste-like consistency so it can stick to the duck and marinate it well. Warning, this mixture has a very pungent smell and irritated me. However, the strong paprika-garlic-onion smell will cook off and will leave you a very tasty bird.
- Once the pasty concoction is done, lay out a piece of plastic wrap big enough to wrap the duck on your work surface. Spread some of this paste on the plastic sheet before laying the duck on it. Rub duck all over with paste, and stuff whatever is left over inside the cavity of the duck. Wrap it tightly and let it sit in your refrigerator for at least one hour. You can marinate the duck up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
- Before you stick the duck in the turbo oven, make sure you tie the legs together, to truss it. Check Brian Polcyn’s How To Truss a Chicken video demo (via Michael Ruhlman) to do it correctly. I didn’t see this demo prior to writing this post, so i guess i’ll just have “tied legs.” Also, tied duck/chicken legs allow it to pose sexier and cook evenly. Tuck the “turtleneck” under. The duck I bought came with the neckbones, so i put some of the marinade and just cooked it too – don’t let anything go to waste! Place the duck in the turbo breast side up first. Cook at 350degreesF for 40 minutes on one side.
- The turbo oven cooks the top first then you MUST turn the meat over because the bottom will not cook if you don’t. This is what it looks like while it cooks! Turn it over after 40 minutes to cook the other side. Prick the skin all over to make the crispy skin!
- The duck shrinks as it cooks and it will be uneven. I guess that’s what happens when you don’t truss properly? In any case, be prepared with a small ramekin, or anything that will take the oven temperature and use it as a leveler of sorts. If the ends of the duck starts to burn and the rest of the duck still needs to cook, just cover it with aluminum foil to prevent it from burning.
- Pro Tip: Check the duck at the 30 minute mark and see if it is good enough to turn around. If not, let it cook for 10 more minutes then flip. Keep checking for doneness. The breast side definitely cooks longer than the back side of the duck and adjust cooking times accordingly. When you are done, your turbo will be left with this much duck fat. Store it in a jar inside the refrigerator and it will keep for months. It will be good for duck fat roasted potatoes! (or duck fat fries, if you have enough!)
Roasting duck in a conventional oven takes about 4 hours! Should you wish to do this in a conventional oven, here’s a link to wonderful step-by-step procedures of Jessie Cross’s The Best Way to Roast a Duck (Hello Crispy Skin!)
I followed most of Jessie Cross’s procedure of duck handling (with shortcuts, of course! cutting the skin in that criss cross manner was difficult for me) and quite frankly, her step-by-step pictures are awesome.
I went to Manila for New Year’s Eve. While visiting, my friend and I had this conversation:
Budjette: So where did you spend Christmas Eve?
Me: At home. Dave and I stayed home.
Budjette: But where was that duck from that you posted on Facebook???? Did you get that at a restaurant?
Me: I made it.
Budjette: WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU MADE IT?!
Me: I cooked the duck in a turbo oven.
Budjette: Hmmmm…. looks good… mmm. duck.
I hope everyone had a good holiday season and wishing all of you a great 2013!