This is one of those things I never thought I would do. I quartered a duck. I intended to buy duck breasts, but my grocery store only had whole duck. So I bought one. And I found a new recipe.
And I broke it down.
The story follows…
First, buy a duck. Mine is a 6-pound beauty.
Take it out of the package, take out the giblets, rinse it off, yada yada. You know this drill. (Alton Brown also says to take out the pop-up timer. No pop-up timer in Maple Leaf Farms duck! Yay, Maple Leaf!)
Assemble your tools. Mine included: cutting board, kitchen shears, really big knife, and my cheat sheet.
Using your kitchen shears, cut off the wings.
Pull that big flap of neck skin out of the way. I just cut it off. Then, with your kitchen shears, cut down either side of the backbone, starting from the neck and working your way back. Take out the backbone.
Flip the duck over, breast side up.
Cut right down the middle of the breast bone, which gives you two halves of a duck.
Separate the leg from the breast by making a cut between the top of the leg and the bottom of the breast. (The division is pretty easy to see.)
Voila, quartered duck!
This duck is getting ready to go into a brine, and my buddy Alton Brown says to make some slits in the skin before it goes in the brine. I don’t remember why, but I’m sure AB knows what he’s talking about. So I did it. (I think it has to do with how thick the skin is, compared with a chicken or a turkey.)
Then I put the duck in a brine in a bag. Come back later to see what that’s all about!