These two beautifully browned Cheater Smoked Ducks for the Pulled Duck Platter produced about 6 cups of smoky duck fat. Fried potatoes here we come!
Fantastic. Looks just like pulled pork shoulder, but fancier. And delicious. If you buy frozen ducks plan ahead and allow several days for the ducks to thaw fully in the refrigerator. And if there’s an electric roaster on a shelf somewhere, use it to roast your ducks. The cover seals in the moisture which breaks down the meat into easy-to-pull pieces.
- 4 to 6 ribs celery
- 2 medium onions cut into thick slices, no need to peel them
- 2 5-6 pound fresh (or fully thawed frozen) ducks
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup liquid smoke
Heat the oven to 300ºF.
Place the celery and thick onion slices in the bottom of a roasting pan.
Remove the neck and innards from the cavity of the duck. Cut off excess fat from the duck cavities. Rinse and pat dry.
Sprinkle the cavities with salt. Rub the outside of the duck with salt. Sprinkle liberally with pepper.
Pierce the skin of the duck all over with the tip of a sharp pointed knife about 30 times. Only pierce the skin, do not stab into into the meat.
Place the duck breast-side down in a roasting pan.
Carefully pour 1/4 cup liquid smoke into the cavity of each duck.
Roast for 3 hours (about 1/2 hour per pound). Drain the accumulated fat in the roasting pan once or twice during the cooking. You'll want to keep this fat for other uses like roasting potatoes.
Remove the ducks from the oven. Raise the oven temperature to 350ºF.
Drain the fat from the pan. Turn the ducks breast side up and continue to roast for one hour. They should be nicely browned and the legs should feel loose when wiggled.
If the skin isn't brown enough for your liking, turn on the broiler and broil from the middle rack of the oven until more color develops.
Let the ducks rest on a cutting board until cool enough to handle. Pull all the meat, reserving the crisp skin to enjoy separately. Or, separate the legs, thighs, and breasts with a sharp knife and serve.
For the duck fat: Chill the reserved duck fat until it hardens and with a spoon carefully separate it from the bottom drippings. Store the fat in a covered container in the refrigerator or freezer. Use some of the drippings when rewarming the duck later.