In the last week I have had the opportunity to play around with a wood burning oven preparing everything from fish, to pizzas, to whole ducks.  I'm excited to get a new toy to play with because sometimes it is hard to find inspiration.   I wanted to bring a few recipes that I have done over the past week.   I had a whole duck and I really wanted to de-bone it, stuff it, and roast it whole.  I wasn't exactly sure what direction, flavor wise, I wanted to go in but I knew I wanted to stuff it.  The oven didn't have a temperature gauge on it so I will guesstimate what the temperature was approximately at.   My boss said that this was one of the best ducks he has ever had, even better than any Peking duck he has had.  He went on and on about how good the flavor and the skin was because normally he doesn't like to eat the skin on anything, even if it is really crispy.   He could not get enough of this skin and meat.  The flavor from the wood really gave it a depth of flavor that you can't get in your regular oven.  I was extremely happy because I wasn't necessarily planning on it being a meal but more of a snack, but it ended being the highlight of the day for all involved.  I ended up taking it in a asian direction even though I really wanted to go french with it.  I decided to stuff it with chicken sausage. 

I am looking forward to getting one built, here in Austin, from the

Texas Oven Co.

  and bringing more recipes to you all.

Recipe

1 whole duck de-boned but kept whole (ask your butcher or watch this

link

)

2 chicken breast

5 cloves of garlic

1 tbsp of ginger

2 tbsp of cilantro

2 tbsp of soy

3 tbsp of 5 spice

2 fresno chiles

4 oz of duck fat (from neck)

Salt

Aromatics

1 orange

2 limes

2 stalks of lemon grass

2 stalks of green onion

4 garlic cloves

1 piece of ginger

For the duck

De-bone the duck by taking your knife and cutting away the wishbone.  Then cut the neck and tail away.  Use the excess fat for your chicken sausage. Cut away the wings. Then turn the duck over and follow the back bone all the way down with your knife.  Follow the rib cage to the breast plate to cut away the breast meat from the carcass.  Follow it down and cut the legs away.  Be careful to keep the duck intact.  Continue the same process on the other side until you have cut away the middle of the duck carcass.  Then trim away any extra cartilage and bone that you can find.  Then take your knife and scrape the meat away from the two thigh bones.  Then cut the thigh bones away from the legs.  I kept the leg bone and drummie intact for this.  The duck should now be butterflied and 95 percent free of bones.

For the chicken sausage

Make sure your duck fat and chicken is extremely cold.  Then using a meat grinder pass your meat and fat along with garlic, ginger, fresno chile's through the grinder.  Season your meat with 5 spice, salt, cilantro, and soy sauce.  Then in a small saute pan take a spoonful of the sausage and 1 tbsp of oil and saute the meat to test the flavor.  After you taste the sausage adjust the seasoning if need be.

Stuffing.

Take your duck with the meat facing you and season with 5 spice and salt.  Then take your chicken sausage and place in the middle of the duck.  Then take about 5 to 6 pieces of butchers twine and tie the duck up by bringing both sides of the duck to the middle of the bird.  Tie the bird and then season the whole duck with salt.  Place on a rack that fits in a roasting pan.  In the bottom of the roasting pan add all of the aromatics.  Then place the rack on to of the aromatics in the roasting pan and place in the wood oven

Now the wood oven was hot from the night before but I did start a little fire.  I would say it was around 300 degrees.  I place the duck not very close to the fire for about 45 minutes rotating it once.  This I think was a crucial step because the heat circulated and melted that thick fat layer on the duck.  Then I add more wood to bump up the temperature to around 500 I would say.  I also then pushed the duck a little closer to start roasting it.    I would say I roasted it for about 30 to 45 minutes more until the internal temperature was around 165.  Then I made sure the skin was nice and crusty.   Let the duck rest for at least 20 minutes, cut the strings off and then slice.  I served it with fermented bean sauce on a tortilla with green onions and chile sauce. 

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