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Have You Tried Roasted Duck ?

Updated on December 25, 2010

They Say.......

Who are 'they'?  Where do 'they' say these things?  Who is listening when 'they' speak?  Are 'they' trustworthy?

I have no clear answers. I imagine that 'they', simply represent things we have heard in the past.  I have heard, several times that Stuttgart, Arkansas is the duck hunting capital of the United States.  I do not know if this is true, but I do know, that duck hunting in Stuttgart is a major event.  It attracts duck hunters from throughout the nation.  Stuttgart is a major producer of rice.  Rice paddies are flooded.  Water attracts ducks.  Duck hunting rivals deer hunting in southeastern Arkansas.

A green head indicates a male mallard.
A green head indicates a male mallard.

Mallard or Duck?

The Mallard, is simply, a 'wild duck'.  It is probably the best-known and most recognizable of all ducks.  It is known as a 'dabbling', breeding throughout the sub tropical areas. .

The males have a bright green head, while the females have a light brown.

The mallard lives in wetlands, ( rice paddies) eating water plants, and is gregarious, ( a social creature).  It is also migratory bird. The mallard is the patriarch of the duck family.

The mallard can fly....but usually it stays close to the ground for a short distance.  It has just enough flying ability to escape natural predators such as weasels and coyotes.

Many of us have enjoyed feeding bread to the ducks in a local park.  I recently had the joy of taking a 2 years old.  She was delighted, until the ducks became aggressive and one wrapped her finger into its mouth.  It simply scared her.  There are no 'teeth' and the bite or nip is not painful.  They are quiet friendly, but competitive with one another for the bread.  They are not an 'attack' animal.


How most of us think of ducks.
How most of us think of ducks.


Duck is the common name for a number of species a family of birds, known as Anatidae. They are raised for eggs, ( superior to the chicken egg for baking) flesh and their feathers. If you have a down coat, it is filled with duck feathers. Some are kept as pets, or for show, usually associated with 4-H organizations. Almost all ducks are descended from the mallard.

If you are not familiar with 4H programs, you can learn more about them here.

Ducks were on the farm that I grew upon. They were valued for the eggs. I can not recall my Grandmother ever cooking one. Perhaps, she simply did not like the meat. Nor, do I remember what happened to the aged ones. I regret never having questioned it.

It would many years later that I cooked my first duck. It was a salesman from Louisiana who inspired me. He also introduced me to fried turkey...that is another hub.

Every Good Cook Has A Favorite Way

Like chicken, we use primarily the breasts and legs of ducks. Duck is a darker meat than chicken. The duck leg is darker than the breast, also like chicken and turkey. Because the duck is waterfowl, there is a natural layer of insulation fat between the skin and flesh.

The internal organs are also edible. This liver is sometimes substituted for the liver of geese in "foie gras".

Like most flesh, duck meat can be grilled, fried or roasted.

Roasting is the only method I have used. Duck can be hard to come by, most often, it has been a hunter who has supplied it to my family. It has been, for us, the wild duck or mallard. It did not, however come from Stuttgart! Because, it is so rare for my family to have duck, we make it a festive occasion when we do. It just happens to be, that I have a duck in the freezer. Deciding between beef tenderloin and duck on the Christmas table is going to be difficult this year. Perhaps, the other one will be for New Year's Day.

My Grandmother, said,  you will spend most of the year, doing whatever you do on New Year's day.  Eating,  feeding family, friends and neighbors........yeah, I can go for that.

Good food, shared with good friends is cause enough for celebration.

From the oven, before garnishg the platter.
From the oven, before garnishg the platter.

Roasting The Duck

To my eyes, a roasted bird on the platter is attractive. It also makes use of the entire bird, and the layer of fat keeps the duck moist. Normally, there is enough fat on the duck, to trim some away and still have a juicy bird. The most common size for a ready to cook duck, is 5-6 pounds. Adjust the cooking times for a larger or smaller bird.

Select your roasting pan, and set the oven to about 400-425 degrees.

If desired remove the wing tips. Simply snip them off with a pair of kitchen shears.

Rinse the duck, inside and out, and pat dry.

On poultry, I make a spread of butter (not margarine) salt, pepper, sage and paprika and coat the outside. Feel free to make any spice interchanges that suit the tastes of your family.


Place duck, breast side up in the pan and cook for 40 -45 minutes. You can either trim any loose neck skin or fold it under.

Remove from oven, turning duck half over, cook for another 40 -45 minutes.

Again, remove duck from oven, draining the excess liquid, turn to breast side up again, and complete the cooking for the last 45 minutes.

This will provide you with a moist duck, with a shiny, crisp skin. Let the duck sit for about 15 minutes before carving. Garnish your platter as desired and "wow" your guests.

Add your favorite sides and enjoy.

(Remember to baste your duck, if it is sitting on a wire rack, above the juices.)


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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      SatishOctober 14, 2012 The USB port for Rock Band is an adapter that awllos you to plug in more USB cables, and yes, you have to have it to play all your instruments at once. The bundle comes with it. You can't use your PS2 guitar controller on the PS3.

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from A small southern town

      Nature Smotions,

      Actually, I do welcome the " gamy" taste, for a change of taste. I do soak them in a brine of water, salt, and sugar to mellow it out a bit.

      Now, that you have given me the idea, I will try boiling them first.............I already do this with ribs!

      This is a dish that we eat on " occassion ", and not as a part of the regular menu. It is the same with rabbit, squirrel, and venison.

      I am looking forward to the chance to try moose and buffalo.

      Thanks, so much for reading my hub.......hope to see you again.

    • NATURESMOTIONS profile image


      6 years ago from Oregon

      Every year I have an older gentleman whom loves to hunt but cannot eat all that he gets so he call on me to take them. Personally, I did not like the taste of wild duck. We soak them in salt water, we have marinated them with everything under the sun and still that taste. My ducks in the yard do not taste like that. This year a few nights back, I got the call again. Well, the cats will eat good again. But a friend told me to boil it and then finish cooking them anyway I like. WOW what a difference in taste. How do you rid the duck of the wild gamey nasty taste?

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from A small southern town

      Edwin Clark,

      It is good to have you visit my hub~

      Using the duck fat for frying fries

      is a new idea to me. Do you render

      the fat or is available for sale in'

      the areas that you travel?

    • Edwin Clark profile image

      Edwin Clark 

      7 years ago from Thailand by way of New York

      I love roasted duck especially Chinese style. Some people don't like the taste but I quite enjoy it. And duck fat is the best especially when you use it to fry french fries!

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from A small southern town


      Finding the duck may be the hardest part.

      They are simple to prepare. Good Luck with yours!

    • Valeed profile image


      7 years ago from Pakistan

      Yummy! I would love to have a roasted duck. Will surely search for a place from where I can have it.

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from A small southern town


      That does sound enticing, thanks for

      passing that along. I may try that,

      perferring that my hubby doesn't cook!

      Let's just say his talents are elsewhere.

      I appreciate you coming by for the read.

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from A small southern town

      Kaie Arwen,

      Pregnancy will sure play with your

      eating habits......

      Thanks for coming by, and I hope you

      get to where you can enjoy it again!

    • RNMSN profile image

      Barbara Bethard 

      7 years ago from Tucson, Az

      hello onegoodwoman! I have had duck several times, everytime cooked by hubby (I am soooo spoiled rotten!) and he always buries it in the coals of an outdoor firepit...all wrapped up in layers of aluminum foil and roasted slow in the coals of a mesquite thats good!! I think thats what I will beg for my Christmas gift!

    • Kaie Arwen profile image

      Kaie Arwen 

      7 years ago

      There was a time I absolutely loved roasted duck, but I haven't touched it since pregnant with my son and the bout of sickness that accompanied the digestion. Maybe too rich? And maybe time to try it again! Kaie

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from A small southern town

      J Sunhawk,

      Welcome to my hub!

      Wishing you greater success next duck.

      Let me know if I can help?

    • J Sunhawk profile image

      J Sunhawk 

      7 years ago from South Carolina

      I'm always looking for new recipes, and yours looks like a good one. The last time I baked a duck it turned out really bad. I'm looking for greater success next time. Thanks.

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from A small southern town


      Growing up on the farm, even kids

      know the animal they pet today, could

      feed them tomorrow. While some cultures

      eat dog, I could not knowingly do it.

      Sorry for your childhood loss. I had a

      pet pig, his name was Henry P. Porkchop.

      He too, eventually went to market, I can not

      eat porkchops. Ham is not a problem.

      Go figure the mind of a child!

      Thanks for coming by for the read.

    • skye2day profile image


      7 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      hello onegoodwoman. Duck mot my favorite. We had a duck growing up and my parents raised it in our garage. One night at dinner we were told it was the duck. Sad and true story. My parents told us they were kidding and we were really eating chicken. I suppose they thought we believed them, not in the least. Duck had been gone a while (butcher shop) I was so sad. Anyway I spit it out and wrapped it in a napkin.

      Many years later I tried duck. I Could not get the duck in the garage out of my mind. I did not like it. They can swim around, fine by me. Anyway duck people will enjoy the recipe and tips you have given them. That is my quacking story.

      Many Blessings to You sister. Great job.

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from A small southern town

      Hi Giselle......

      " they say" it's cooked makes

      the difference!

      So glad, you came by.~~

    • giselle2323 profile image


      7 years ago from Peterborough, Ontario

      Hello OGW, i love the way you started off with your Hub. I often wonder, who are They? Where to They live? And who gave They such an authority over all things?!! I have tried duck twice. Once was fine, the second time...well, let's just say, I have not tried it since. Thank you for sharing.

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from A small southern town

      Hi Thoughtforce,

      Good to see you again!

      Like most things, it is not for everyone.

      If ever you get a taste it!

      It is a treat, and it won't replace chicken

      for a long time to come.

      Thanks for coming~

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 

      7 years ago from Sweden

      I have never eaten a roasted duck, but it looks delicious and the recipe seems to give an juicy bird!That is important when you cook a bird, the meat from bird has a dendency to easily become dry! That I haven´t taste any is more due to that I instead choose other kind of meat that I know and like. Thanks for sharing this!

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from A small southern town

      Dave Matthews,

      Yes, it's a rare treat for us too!

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 

      7 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      Roast duck yum yum! As an amateur chef I love eating too and duck is a treat.

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from A small southern town


      We don't have to like

      the same things...

      Good to see you, thanks for

      coming by.

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from A small southern town


      Long time, no see!

      Glad the duck was ones aren't that appealing.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I have had duck, and I didn't like it, but then I tried turduken and I find I can enjoy it that way.

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 

      7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      ... I found a dead duck at a Chinese eatery.. Enjoyed!


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