Round here if you want to eat roast duck it requires a long old process. First purchase some Pekin duck eggs and hatch them out. Then realise you have 5 females and 1 drake. Decide to keep them all for breeding and eggs – after all we are aiming for a sustainable roast duck situation here. So no roast duck last year.
The following spring, when the ducks start to lay eggs, take a 15 and pop them in your incubator.
Hatch out 9 cute little ducklings.
Keep them warm inside for a week or so, then make them an outside, heated duck palace. after another week or so let them free-range and forage in the pear garden and play in the pond.
Oh, I may have forgotten to mention – make a pond for your ducks as they like to swim!
When the ducklings are 8 weeks old grab one early on a Sunday morning. Give it a cuddle until it calms down and snuggles.
Pop it in the cone, stun it with the extremely expensive poultry stunner (as this is the most humane way), cut its throat and let it bleed out.
Then pluck it. I dunked it in boiling water, wrapped it in newspaper for a few minutes and hand plucked. It actually plucked very easy for a duck – and didn’t take too long.
Gut the duck, keeping the liver and heart for a tasty treat. Pick out any remaining pin feathers and there you have it, and oven ready 2.5kg smallholding duck.
OK so it took a little longer than driving to the shop and so far the up-front cost has been quite a bit – just thinking pond and stunner costs at the moment, but this was a very happy duck and it is borderline 0-km food miles – total moment of smugness.
Tomorrow, what i did with the duck in the kitchen ….
N.B. The newspaper trick worked a treat, but even so, I am a little pleased with how well I plucked it – and no wax was used!
N.B. James stuns and I cut. He cleans up and I pluck and gut.