The following is how to utilize a duck so you have a breast dinner, a confit dinner, a fat yield, and a bone stock. Note that the breasts of ducks are to be cooked like a steak. They are not cooked all the way like a chicken.
This recipe is mainly from an episode of a podcast called The Survival Podcast. Here is the link to the specific episode. We also clipped out the specific audio and put it to pictures we took while cooking a duck. Here is the link to the YouTube video.
Preheat oven to 400 deg F
Cut breasts out with the skin on
Score skin on breasts with 3 little cuts. ½ to 2/3 the width. Not all the way. Just to help the fat render
Put a little bit of duck fat or high temp oil (like peanut oil) in a cast iron or carbon steel pan
Get the pan warm, not very hot
Put duck breasts skin side down. Cook until it starts to render fat out and the skin begins to crisp a little
Flip over to the nonskin side and cook for about 2 min at the most at a medium temp.
Take skillet and put into the oven for 4 to 6 minutes. If going by temp, cook to 135-140 deg F
Take skillet out and set aside and leave alone for a few minutes
Take the breasts out and set onto a cutting board for about 5 or more minutes and let the internal temp come down like with a steak
Slice it on the bias. Salt and pepper
Save the drippings from the pan for the confit
Cut the legs and thighs off at the ball, where the thigh meets the body
Optional: cut wings off. Wing tips aren’t worth comfit-ing, but rest could. Or leave with rest of the body
Rub legs with seasoning of choice. One example: salt, pepper, orange peel, thyme, sage, rosemary
Put into fridge overnight
Preheat oven to 225 deg F
Using a small crock or high sided oven safe dish (legs will need to be completely covered in fat), place legs into the crock. Cover in a fat. Duck fat is best, but can use peanut oil (consider allergies though), lard, olive oil or other fat of choice. Butter can be used, but tends to make it saltier. Duck fat can be strained, cooled, and reused over and over
Place crock/dish into oven for 2-3 hours, until the meat is tender and pulls easily from the bone.
Let it cool a little, but not so far that the fat starts to jell
Put the legs onto a cutting board and let cool a little more Put a little bit of fat into a hot pan and crisp the skin
GETTING FAT FROM DUCK
Remove all the skin and fat from the rest of the duck
Put about an inch of water in a pot and put the skin and fat in the water
On a really slow simmer, go until all the water is boiled away. The fat will be rendered away from the skin
Simmer the fat until the fat looks like butter and skin crisp and look like cracklins
Save fat for use in future comfits. Skin cracklins can be just eaten or used on a salad
REST OF BIRD (BODY AND WINGS)
Heat oven to 400 deg F
Put the body in the oven and roast for about 20 min, just until they are brown
Make a bone stock using that