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Crisping Skin For Roast Duck

Asked by meditek. Answered on 14th August 2021

Full question

For the Roast Duck with Orange, Soy and Ginger the steaming appeared OK but the result was rather dry after crisping the duck and the 'crisped' skin was not really crispy like a mouthful of the glorious Aylesbury used to be. Can it be improved? Half the problem is the modern ducks are thin skinned with minimal fat and not like the glorious Aylesbury ducks we used to be able to buy.

Image of Nigella's Roast Duck
Photo by Jonathan Lovekin
Roast Duck with Orange, Soy and Ginger
By Nigella
  • 14
  • 2

Our answer

Nigella's Roast Duck With Orange, Soy And Ginger (from AT MY TABLE) cooks the ducks twice. The first time they are steam roasted over a pan of water and the second time they are cooked at high temperature to crisp up the skin. When steam roasting the ducks, make sure that the pan underneath the ducks has enough water in it to create some steam as the ducks starts to cook.

You should be able to see how much fat has come out of the ducks as it will collect in the pan underneath and when the ducks have chilled you should see more spots of fat underneath the skin. You could probably omit removing these spots of fat from the ducks before the second cooking if there are very few of them, but make sure there is a deep roasting pan underneath to catch any extra fat as the ducks roast. The key to very crisp skin is to chill the ducks uncovered as the skin dries out in the fridge and will become more crisp as it roasts. Try to keep the ducks away from high risk raw ingredients, though the ducks themselves are fully cooked at this stage and will be cooked again before serving. If you cover the ducks then some moisture will remain on the skin and it will be much more difficult to get the skin really crisp.

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