Anyone who has ever had ducks, specifically male ducks, knows what I am talking about. For those who think drakes are just cute little waddlers won’t get it when I say that the day for processing extra drakes cannot come too soon, even if they are too skinny. It was a blistery day, raining and cold, but I had my knife sharpened and was not going to let any of those buggers get away. It had been like an x-rated free-for-all and all the lady ducks, the young roosters, the hens, everyone were just trying to run and hide from the ravenously romantic drakes. Ok, it is not romantic at all and I had had enough.
So now we have one very happy drake and he has three wives which keep him busy and they have a break because they share him. The breed is Khaki Campbell and they are known for being heavy egg layers, which they are. Big gorgeous eggs and dear little birds.
Ok, so don’t laugh. I know he is scrawny and has so little meat and fat, so I wanted to roast him to bring out his best, and the best is usually brought out with bacon.
I soaked my Romertopf clay roaster in water for thirty minutes. Place the bird in the roaster, salt and pepper him and add a thinly sliced onion on top and to the sides. Slice thin an organic tangelo, removing any seeds, and place the slices on top of the bird. It needs to be organic because the most delectable part is eating the roasted tangelo skin and all.
I poured on some Master Tonic and then placed bacon on top of everything.
Put the clay lid on and place in a cold oven so the clay does not break. Turn oven on to 350 for about 2 and 1/2 hours give or take.
Next time I will probably use a lower temperature and longer cooking time, adding more Master Tonic for moisture so the bird will be more tender. Spoon the lovely sweet and savory juices on top of everything.
I’m not too proud to admit that though I dined alone tonight, I literally licked my plate, and it was so good that I probably would have if we had dinner guests. 🙂
Did I mention what a delight it is to be on a low carb / high fat diet?
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Lawd have mercy!!!!! Here looking up duck recipes cuz these birds have GOT TO GO! Driving me crazy! They are harassing and beating up chickens and trying to breed everyone. They were so amusing, at first, with their adorable waddling and reluctance to get more then an inch away from each other….The worst part is that they wake up every day at 3 am!!! By far the loudest birds we’ve ever had and I have taken to sleeping with earplugs. Anyway, not waiting for them to start laying (1/2 drakes, 1/2 hens) since we sure don’t need any more eggs and they’re all headed for the freezer. Sure are handsome creatures but my mouth is starting to water when I look at them.
Ha! I know what you mean. It reminds me of Ferdinand the Duck in the movie Babe. 🙂 I am happy when there are ducks in the freezer.
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This is awesome. Joel is my hero. and this new cooker looks awesome.
Thanks! I’m a bit jealous of your haul of 20 ducks. What do you think is the best way of plucking them? Joel is also one of my heroes and I’m sure you know he is a Ron Paul person. 😉
I love my Romertopf. I acquired it at a yard sale so it was nice and seasoned. Even got a Romertopf cookbook with it. I like to roast my chickens at 250 for 3 hours, then turn it up to 350 for about 30 min to crisp up the skin.
I agree Karen! They are so wonderful to cook in. Thanks so much for the reminder as well, as I am getting one of those yummy drakes out of the freezer for dinner tonight. Happy you stopped by. – Jamie
Love this! 🙂 I’m curious, how did you get the feathers off of him? We have found lots and lots of difficulty in plucking cleanly on ducks. Yummy recipe.
Thanks Sheri! I watched lots of Joel’s youtube videos, but considering that I don’t have a plucker for my chickens anyway I just hand pluck. I just get a big pot of water ready, almost boiling, and after I bleed them out I dunk in the water as I would be doing a chicken. I found that the wing feathers on a duck are the most difficult, especially if I don’t keep them in the water long enough, so pliers do help. The skin is a bit more fragile than a chicken, and I found it best to pull the feathers up on the top half of the body, and feathers down and out on the lower half. I like doing ducks actually better than chickens, but I think turkeys are the easiest to defeather. There is still some tiny down left, which we don’t mind, but some hunters will sear them off with fire, which I don’t want to do. Next go around I would definitely keep the drakes separately, so they can torture each other and not everyone else, and them fatten them up more, as ours were too scrawny. Still delicious though and our girls do lay a LOT of eggs. Cheers to your son and his enterprise and thank you all at Polyface for being such a resource and inspiration to us all!