I find duck dishes somehow not so popular in US. Not every Asian restaurant has duck on the menu, which surprises me a lot as I always thought about ducks being almost national Chinese food.
Maybe it has something to do with the so called “bird flu” which caused the panic a few years ago, or maybe it is related to the fact that duck meat is not considered “healthy” due to the amount of fat it contains, or it could be just because people are too used to see those birds alive on the streets (yes, I live in Columbus, OH and there are tons of ducks and Canadian geese slugging around on every parking lot, as a result I see more ducks on the city streets than on the plates, which would be unbelievable in let’s say Europe 🙂 ).
Nevertheless, I like duck meat. Taste of baked duck with apples reminds me of family celebrations in my childhood, such as New Year or birthdays parties. Fortunately I could find a deeply frozen duckling in the local Kroger. I baked it and, must say, the taste was delicious. So now I can share with you my article about how to prepare Duck Baked with Apples with step-by-step guide and photos included below.
- Duckling (about 7lb)
- 4-5 apples
- Black pepper
How to make, step-by-step:
You can use big cast iron duck oval pan (if you have one) or roster pan big enough for the duck, like I did. So unfreeze the duckling if it was frozen, remove anything form the inside cavity (if these if anything, you can stick giblets and neck to the same pot with duck, or discard these) and wash duck with cold water:
Rub the duck with the mix of salt and black pepper, season with marjoram and let it settle while you are preparing apples:
It is better to use sour apples, however if you’ve got none of these, any other will do as well. So wash apples, cut each into 6-8 pieces and remove seeds:
Fill duck inside cavity with apple pieces:
And sew it with threads or toothpicks, just like I did. If you have any more apples left, just put them around the duck in the pan:
Warm the oven up till 390F-400F, put pan with duck to the oven and bake it for about 1 hour. Then juices produced while cooking over the duck. If there is not much juice, pour 1 cup of water to the pan. Be very careful as the whole thing is very hot:
Continue backing and pouring juices over the duck from time to time, till the duck gets soft and can be easily pierced with a fork (depends of the quality of the duck it can take from 2 to 3 hours, it is also a good idea to make sure internal meat temperature reaches 165F). Then take it out of the oven and remove threads / toothpicks:
Cut the duck into portion pieces and serve with baked apples and your choice of the side dish: