Besides making a gluten free Thanksgiving duck this past week, I’ve been reading up on some interesting articles on food trends lately. One trend that keeps repetitively popping up all over the internet is that in 2017, fat is back and indulgences with foods are going to become very popular again. Full force. What I have to say about that is, you’ve come to the right place.
This blog consists of all gluten free recipes. They’re all healthy and from scratch. However, many are indulgent. And many are fat. But it’s good fat. I’m glad I’m already involved in this trend. So, read away.
Another trend coming is storytelling. I’m good at this. I talk so much. Friends and family can vouch for this. So, I’m really excited to story tell. It’s what I’m good at!
And the words here on the blog look different. The spacing has changed. All this time, I’ve been using two spaces between sentences. Not one. Which is why all my posts and their wording looks off. Great. I have to go back and change each one now. If there’s a shortcut, please let me know in the comments at the end of this post. I learned two spaces in college. I didn’t get the current memo. In a post, two looks aweful. So this is my first post with one. I changed the font too, because I just like the way it looks. And when you scroll over my food photos, they don’t fade anymore. You can still pin any of my photos, but now you can actually see them!
Picture this: It’s a gorgeous night. I’m fancying a fake tan and long straight hair. Ironing was my thing for a long while.
Sitting ocean front, with my newlywed husband. A breathtaking, moonlit sky. The sound of slightly crashing waves. Before I knew it, our entree was served. Flirting and laughing and already downing a second glass of cabernet, I forgot what I’d ordered. It didn’t matter. He was admiring my ironed hair and fake tan. Taking a bite of the main course without realizing what it was, I noticed a rubbery sensation in my mouth. Huh? It looked like steak but this was not. What was it again? Not steak? Not pork? Oh crap…….I ordered duck.
First time ever eating duck. I have to say, I didn’t like it. Looking back, it was medium rare. I haven’t had duck since. Until I cooked it this week. And let me tell you, you need to try cooking it this way. Slow roasted. Minimal turning. Low heat. Perfection. Smells like pure Thanksgiving. A gluten free Thanksgiving duck.
With turkey day here in less than two weeks, goose originally came to mind! And why? Not from Ebenezer’s heartfelt Cratchit holiday goose. Not from references noting goose, and how it’s served historically worldwide. I thought of it because I wanted to make YOU something gluten free and different, but not a turkey. Goose came to mind. Then duck. Because our neighbors feed duck year round. And they poop on our deck. And I was looking at a newly dropped piece of duck poop on the deck. It looked like speckled snow. Which made me think of cold weather. Which then made me think of Thanksgiving!!!
Hope that didn’t gross you out or make you scared of me? But being detailed is another trend coming in 2017. So, in order to go with the trends…..I felt the need to tell you how I came up with the the bird idea.
I studied geese and duck and researched recipes galore this past week. You can learn ALOT from studying recipes online and in cookbooks. Seriously, sit in front of your computer and do this for awhile. Just google your favorite foods and dishes. Go to the library and pull books from the cookbook section. Then just sit and go through them.
For me, the best way is to study how things work before I put them all together in the kitchen. And here’s what I learned:
Duck, like goose, has fat. Thick, strong fat that’s layered around the body of the skin. A duck flies. So, it’s strong. And it needs warmth during those winter months. So, it’s shielded with fatty skin. When cooking a duck, you need to render its fat. So, you pierce it and let it drain. DON’T pierce the meat underneath! Just the fatty skin.
When rendered, the fat drips to the bottom of the roasting pan. This is known as liquid gold. Seriously. Literally. If you search online for duck fat, you’ll find people yelling at you not to waste this stuff! It’s some of the best fat you can get in the world. Save it. Freeze it. Use it in just a week and a half for your Thanksgiving dishes. I may use it to stuff between the layer of skin and meat in one of our turkeys before roasting!
Duck is common and a delicacy in Asian cooking. In Europe and many places of the world, duck is eaten regularly. I remember its rubbery texture during our honeymoon. Honestly, I didn’t like it so much. I read how you could slow roast duck and the outcome would be more fall-off-the-bone type of meat. There is the lengthy time for slow roasting. We are talking like up to twelve hours. Seriously!
Then there’s the 2 1/2 hour method with a five pound duck. You slow roast at 350 degrees and turn the duck every thirty minutes or so. This drains the fat into the pan each time as it renders. It also lets the meat cook more evenly. Both methods…..sounded like….a lot of freakin work. Here’s what I did as I planned it all out in my head:
Orange is a popular, wonderfully acidic fruit to stuff the bird with. I used oranges, onions, garlic, celery, and thyme. Roughly chop everything but the thyme and put in a bowl. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper, then mix. Stuff the bird with everything, including the thyme.
Tie the legs together after stuffing, by crisscrossing the end bones and securing. Tuck the skin under on the other cavity. You can also sew things shut. But you’re discarding the items used to stuff eventually, so it’s probably not necessary.
I started roasting the duck convection style, at 350 degrees. My pan is deep, so I didn’t worry about splattering. Cook for 30 minutes at 350, then flip the bird. Your bird is sitting on a wrack in the pan, so juices can flow down. Pour out that fat juice at the bottom. Save it. Then cook your bird for another 30 minutes. Take it out and repeat the same process.
From here, lower the oven temp to 225 degrees. Put your bird back in the oven. And let it cook for another 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Untouched. There is no need to keep flipping and moving it around! What you’ll get is AMAZING, fall off the bone meat. With a crispy skin.
Now, each oven varies in temp. This process worked out perfectly for my bird with my oven. You’ll have to keep an eye on the meat for this, to find the best result for you. Use a meat thermometer and check for 165 degrees internally for finished cooking. So, inner thigh, NEAR the breast, not touching the bone. DON’T pierce the breast meat!!!!!!!!
I’m sorry I yelled at you. See……people start yelling at their readers when speaking of duck roasting. I’m telling you.
I truly hope you loved this post on how to cook a gluten free Thanksgiving duck. There’s a simple sauce I made here to smother all over the tender cooked meat. Pour it on when you’re ready to serve. Lots of duck sauce recipes require so many ingredients! Not this one. Easiest and tastiest sauce ever, for a succulent duck.
I really hope you try cooking duck over the holidays. It is absolutely fantastic. It smells and tastes incredible. This duck can serve about four, so you don’t have to feed a big crowd. If your crowd is small, I highly recommend serving duck.
I plan on cooking this again for Ricardo and I, before Santa arrives. Traditionally, we like to stay up late. We eat and drink a couple of days before Santa shows up. Maybe I can surprise him with a fake tan again? And ironing my hair? I can probably get both done while the duck is cooking? Maybe I can bring back this trend full force, at 40!! Hmmmmmmmm………
Only a week and a half until Thanksgiving!! If you want your gluten free Thanksgiving duck with awesome side dishes, be sure to get my mini cookbook, Secretly Stuffed, HERE! You’ll love it. All your recipes are in one place with it! And you can use it starting today!!
Happy Sunday. Tune in this week for another recipe on the blog! I’ll see ya real soon!
- FOR BIRD:
- pound One 5 duck - all natural pekin
- One orange - halved then quartered
- One onion - halved then quartered
- One long celery stick - roughly chopped
- cloves Two large garlic - peeled smashed, then halved
- Fresh thyme - large bunch of sprigs halved
- Kosher Salt
- Cooking oil spray
- FOR SAUCE:
- Fresh orange juice - use one orange include pulp
- tbsp Fig jam - 4-5
- tsp Red pepper flakes - 1/2 or more for extra spiciness
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove innards of duck, discard or save for gravy.
- Carefully rinse and blot dry bird with sturdy paper towels.
- Set aside.
- Let duck rest for 20 minutes at room temp.
- In a bowl, combine orange, onion, celery and garlic.
- Generously sprinkle kosher salt and pepper into bowl.
- Mix well.
- Carefully insert mixture into each cavity of duck.
- Insert each each thyme bunch into each duck cavity as well.
- Tuck skin under on one cavity side.
- On the other, seal by crossing legs and pushing into skin flap hole.
- Tie leg bone ends together with cooking twine.
- Generously sprinkle kosher salt and pepper all over duck skin.
- Follow with sprinkled paprika all over skin, breast side up.
- Holding cooking spray far enough away, spray bird all over top.
- *This gives extra sticking power for paprika and salt and pepper.
- On a rack in a roasting pan, place duck breast side up on rack.
- *If you don't have a wrack, use foil pieces by shaping into long snake strands.
- Cook for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
- Remove pan with duck, then turn duck over.
- *You can spoon or pour fat from bottom of pan and place in jar.
- Cook duck for another 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
- Repeat process of turning duck and scooping fat.
- Lower oven temp to 225 degrees.
- Cook duck for another 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
- *Leave duck untouched and let cook at low heat.
- Duck is done when internal temp reads 165 degrees.
- When done, remove duck from oven and turn off stove.
- Carefully spoon out fat at bottom of pan and place into jar.
- Let duck rest, covered in foil, for 15 minutes.
- Discard items placed in duck cavity, then serve hot.
- FOR SAUCE:
- Squeeze juice out of one orange, including pulp drippings.
- Add fig jam and red pepper flakes, then mix.
- Sautee combined ingredients in a sauce pan at medium low heat.</span>
- When mixture begins to bubble turn off heat, and let sit.
- *Sauce will thicken upon sitting.
- Plate duck, and pour sauce over meat when serving.