Friday, January 21, 2011

Mighty Duck

It didn’t take me too long to decide what recipe to use for Ott, A’s Iron Chef Duck Challenge. Of course, I would use a recipe from Alton Brown! I give you… Mighty Duck!

First, start with a freshly quartered duck.quarter duckGather your brine ingredients…brine ingredients 2And combine 2 cups of orange-pineapple juice, 1/2 cup salt, 15 black peppercorns, and 4 smashed garlic cloves. Stir like crazy to dissolve the salt. (AB recommends a bunch of fresh thyme as well. I didn’t have fresh, but I added some dried thyme instead.)
Put the duck quarters in a zip-top bag…duck in bagAnd pour the brine over the duck. Press the air out of the bag, and seal. Brine in the refrigerator for 2 – 2.5 in brine  Boil 1.5-2 inches of water in a large pot.boil waterPut a colander on top of the boiling water, and lay the duck pieces in the colander. AB says to not overlap the duck pieces. I was just able to get everything to in colanderCover, and steam the duck for 45 minutes.steaming duckPreheat the oven to 475 degrees. Put a cast iron skillet in the oven to heat. (My oven takes almost 20 minutes to get to 475. Don’t forget to turn this on well ahead of time!)cast ironOh, I don’t have a cast iron skillet. And our cookware is only rated to 450 degrees. So I pulled out the cast iron Dutch oven. It worked, just slip the legs between the grates!
Okay, so when the duck is done steaming…finished steaming Put the legs, skin side down, in the hot cast iron skillet Dutch oven and roast at 475 degrees for 10 minutes.legs in ovenThen, add the breasts, skin side down, and roast for another 7 minutes.breast in ovenYou’re looking for the meat to be a mahogany-brown color, and the skin to be nice a crispy.done duckI could have cooked this for a few minutes longer, but it was late and we were hungry. So the skin wasn’t as crispy as it could have been. But it was good!

AB recommends cooking some shallots and chard in the duck fat for a few minutes. I didn’t have any chard, but I did have some kale, so I threw that in with the shallots, over low heat, tossing frequently, just until the kale turned bright green and tender. Well, as tender as kale gets, anyway.

We ate the duck with kale, brown rice, mango slices, and citrus-glazed parsnips. We had so much food, it was like Thanksgiving!

Printable recipe card:mighty duck recipe card
Now I have these extra duck bones...  From Mess Hall To Bistro has a recipe for Duck Soup I just might have to try!

Go, try some duck!


  1. that is awesome that you used an Alton Brown Recipe. It looks great, and I'm glad you liked the duck. I will be anxious to see what else you do with the rest of your duck.

  2. This looks really good. Brines have always look good to me, but I have never done one before,

  3. Amy, I've always loved Alton Browns show and recipes... Considering doing a cookalong, but I will need to gear up for that first! He makes cooking science, which I can relate to!

    Heather, I will never cook a turkey without a brine, again. I started a few years ago and will never go back!

  4. Sounds great! I love the citrus taste with the duck.

  5. Love this challenge because we are all learning so much from each other! Bring on the lamb!


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