Since I came back from holidays I don’t cook that much, because we can barely fit into our clothes. Let’s face it, some adjustments have to be made. However, when I was going through some of my posts, which for some reason never got published – and I have many of those!- I figured that, in so called meantime I could share a few things with you. I come up with this idea a while ago, was just looking for an excuse to start doing it. This is a new series of posts called My Kitchen This & That- it means that from time to time I will be sharing with you these little things, which make our lives easier when we cook. So in this case, it’s not about WHAT I cook, but HOW I do it. The pictures will be less “artistic”, but more informative, and I guess it makes sense- also less work for me 😀 I look the blogs, those ones I follow and many others, and I have to say it’s incredible how we all try to make things work in the kitchen, and how interesting it is to see what kind of tips we give to each other, and share our methods, sometimes strange solutions-well, they only seem to be strange, but once you tried it, it usually appears to be working perfectly for you too! I decided then to share some of my kitchen secrets with you too, and I hope you will find them useful. This post is not vegetarian at all, however I’m sure many of you, although being vegetarian yourselves, have to deal with very much non vegetarian family- mother in low ;-), cousins, friends, so I’m sure you have to face these situations, when you are expected to prepare roast and stuffed chicken, turkey or duck. Today I will show you how I stuff the duck- I know, you don’t even want to think about it but Christmas is on the way! And it means we all have to get on with these chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks and I don’t know with what else. I prepare this duck about twice a year- usually for Easter and the New Years Eve. The way I do it is the same for my roast chicken recipe too. I will share the full recipe around Christmas, today only the stuffing part so you can practice 😀 I can only tell you that it’s an absolutely wonderful dish, for me even more since I started using the cast iron sauce pan. Let’s have a look at the “stuffing tips” then.
How to stuff the duck/chicken?
I remember, that anytime my friends could see they way I stuff the duck it was always a bit of surprise and questions how I’ve learnt this method. It was my dead who taught me how to do it. I grew up on the country side and my parents have a small farm. It means that most of the foods we eat come from the farm, including products like sausages, ham, bacon, smoked ribs or poultry. My dad is a real master when comes to making sausages- it’s the proportions of different kind of meats you use, I know that now, also he prepares ham and bacon- I wish you could try any of these freshly smoked, still warm products, and this yummy jelly when you cut the sausage in half- he makes different flavors too! Many years ago my dad showed me how to stuff the chicken and properly close it. And now tell me who never experienced this view of the stuffing literally jumping out of the chicken ?! Terrible right?! So this is my dad’s method of stuffing and closing the chicken or duck 🙂
Prepare the duck- the seasoning and the stuffing/dressing- I assume you would marinate it for at least 3-4 hours, and once this is done we can start.
Fill the duck’s cavity with dressing, do it carefully. Look at the picture below.
When you filled the cavity with all the dressing, you have to close it or sew it if you prefer. If you leave it like this the duck is going the explode in the oven. It’s the high temperature that will literally pull everything outside. And we don’t want that!
In order to close/sew the duck I always use these two things- toothpicks and thread or the kitchen twine. If you have to do the same with the turkey use something bigger than toothpicks. Also if you don’t have any toothpicks at home you can replace them with the matches.
The next step is to pierce the edges of the duck’s cavity using the toothpicks. Be careful, try not to damage the skin. Do it on each side- the distance between each toothpick should not be more than 1 cm. It also depends on how much dressing you put inside. I would recommend to leave some space. So these are going to be your stays, because it’s like you were tightening a corset. I hope these pictures show exactly the way you should do it.
Prepare the thread- I usually fold it in half, the length of around 20-30 cm should be enough. If not, simply prepare another piece and just proceed as per the below.
Now don’t laugh 😀 I took these pictures below using the peach first, because I thought it would be easier for you to imagine how to tight the thread, in case the pictures with the duck are not clear enough! Apologies if my explanation in English is a bit clumsy, but I hope the pictures will show everything.
Start from the very top toothpick. Tight the thread around it and cross it, like on these pictures
Once you cross the thread, pull it and make sure it’s tight, then do it again and again, like below…
And now look at these ones- this is how it looks like when you have to sew the duck…
If you closed the duck the way I showed you here, you can easily place it in the oven or in the sauce pan like the one you can see below.
Below just a little teaser 😀 😀 and remember that once your duck is ready just take out all the toothpicks and the thread. You will not spoil it!
And here you can see that the stuffing gets this really nice roundy shape- and frankly you get another dish within the duck! And also it’s very easy to cut it, but all this it’s a topic for another post 🙂 Let me know if you find it useful, I’m very curious!