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Duck on the barbecue ... not tricky if you know how.

Grilled domestic duck can be delicious or a disaster. The results depend on how you deal with the fat. Because duck carries a thick layer of fat between the skin and its moist, dark flesh, you must use considerable caution to avoid dangerous flare-ups and charring caused by fat dripping onto the coals.

To minimize the problem, we propose several cooking methods. The simplest technique is to cook whole birds over indirect heat in a covered barbecue. However, if you want crisp skin and much of the fat rendered, the duck will have to be cooked until well done, and the meat will be dry.

One procedure that offers both moist meat and crisp skin involves skinning all or part of the duck; the skin pulls free readily. Grill the whole duck or parts to the doneness you like, and bake the skin until crackly in the oven.

Cooking times will vary considerably, depending on the way you prepare the bird. A whole duck with its skin takes about 2 hours to cook, while a skinless duck takes less than half this time. Skinned breasts are ready in just 10 minutes.

Regardless of the cooking method, you can flavor the duck in one of three ways: with a hoisin-and-vinegar sauce; a citrus-and-chili mixture; and a fragrant olive oil, lemon, and rosemary baste.

Preparing duck for the barbecue. Choose 4-1/2- to 5-pound ducks (or ducklings), fresh or frozen and thawed. Remove giblets and neck; reserve for other uses. Pull off and discard lumps of fat. Rinse duck inside and out and pat dry. One duck will serve 2 generously, 3 adequately.

Marinating the duck. Place rinsed ducks or duck parts in a large, heavy plastic bag sitting in a pan (about 7 by 11 in.). Pour in marinade (recipes follow). Seal bag and rotate to distribute marinade. Chill 6 hours or overnight; turn bag several times. Barbecued Duck in Its Skin

Prepare 2 ducks for the barbecue (see preceding instructions) and marinate them as directed above.

Ignite 50 charcoal briquets on the fire grate of a barbecue with a lid. When coals are partially covered by gray ash (about 20 min.), push half to each side of the grate. Set a drip pan (about 7 by 11 in.) between coals. Set cooking grill 4 to 6 inches above coals.

Lift ducks from marinade, draining; reserve marinade. Fasten neck skin to back with skewers. Set ducks, with breast up, on grill directly over drip pan. Cover barbecue and cook with dampers open.

After 1-1/2 hours, baste frequently with the reserved marinade. Cook until duck thigh at bone near hip socket is no longer pink (cut to test), about 2 to 2-1/4 hours.

Transfer ducks to a platter; slice or cut into pieces to serve. Makes 4 to 6 servings. Barbecued Skinless Ducks

Prepare 2 ducks for the barbecue (see preceding). With a sharp knife, slit through skin along the center of the breast and back just down to the flesh. Starting at the neck on the breast side, pull and cut skin away from flesh, working around the back; cut skin free at joints and tips of legs as needed (as shown at left). Reserve skin to bake if desired (directions follow). Marinate duck as directed at left.

Ignite 50 charcoal briquets on the fire grate of a barbecue with lid. When coals are partially covered with gray ash (about 20 min.), push half to each side of grate. Set a drip pan (about 7 by 11 in.) between coals. Place cooking grill 4 to 6 inches above coals.

Lift ducks from marinade, draining. Set ducks with breast up on cooking grill over drip pan. Cover barbecue and cook with dampers open. Brush duck with marinade every 15 minutes. Cook until meat at bone near hip joint is firm but still pink (cut to test), 45 to 60 minutes; the surface of the cooked duck turns a deep pink from the smoke. Transfer to a platter; cut up with a knife or poultry shears. Accompany with baked duck skin, if desired. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Baked duck skin. Cut duck skin into pieces about 4 inches square. Lay in a single layer, fat side down, on wire racks in rimmed pans. Bake in a 350[deg.] oven until golden and crisp, about 45 minutes. Serve hot or cool. Barbecued Duck Pieces

Prepare 2 ducks for the barbecue. With a sharp knife, sever duck legs at hip joint (near center back) and wings from breast as shown, at right. Pull skin off breast and cut section from each side of the breastbone, sliding knife parallel to bone. If desired, save skin to bake (see above). Marinate duck as directed on page 210.

Ignite 50 charcoal briquets on fire grate of a barbecue with lid. When coals are partially covered with gray ash (about 20 min.), push half the coals to each side of grate. Set a drip pan (about 7 by 11 in.) between coals. Lay cooking grill 4 to 6 inches above coals.

Lift duck pieces from marinade, draining; lay legs and wings over drip pan. Cover and cook 30 minutes with dampers open; baste once. Remove lid. Place breast pieces directly over coals and cook, turning once, until pink in center with firm edges (cut to test), about 10 minutes. Legs should be pink but look firm in thickest part (cut to test); allow about 40 minutes total. Makes 4 to 6 servings. Marinades

Hoising marinade. Blend 1 cup hoisin sauce (from the fancy food section of some supermarkets, or Oriental grocery stores), and 1/2 cup each raspberry vinegar or red wine vinegar and orange juice.

If desired, serve grilled duck with 1 cup slivered green onions, about 1 cup fresh coriander (cilantro), about 1 dozen 6-inch warm flour tortillas, and 1/2 to 1 cup hoisin sauce. Slice meat and serve with these condiments, rolled ito tortillas.--Barbara Kendall, San Rafael, Calif.

Citrus-chili marinade. Combine 1/3 cup sugar, 1-1/2 cups orange juice, 3/4 cup lime juice, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed dried hot red chilies, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon each grated orange and lime peel. Stir mixture thoroughly to dissolve sugar. Use this mixture to marinate and baste duck while barbecuing. To finish sauce, blend 1 tablespoon each cornstarch and water in a 1- to 2-quart pan; stir in remaining marinade. Bring mixture to a rolling boil over high heat. Spoon heated sauce over duck.

When grilling with this sauce, you can also include 2 ripe papayas, peeled, seeded, and quartered. Add papaya to grill over direct heat to warm during the last 20 minutes the duck cooks. Accompany with heated citrus-chili sauce. Garnish with small whole dried hot red chilies.

Rosemary marinade. Combine 1 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup lemon juice, 2 cloves minced or pressed garlic, 1/2 teaspoon fresh or dry rosemary leaves; stir to blend thoroughly. Use a sprig of fresh rosemary to baste duck, if desired.
COPYRIGHT 1984 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:includes recipes
Publication:Sunset
Date:Jun 1, 1984
Words:1174
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