Friday, December 23, 2011

Brining a Christmas Duck

It's no secret that I'm a fan of duck over turkey. Since roasting duck for Project Food Blog (boo hiss), I've made it again for Johnny and myself, and last year for Thanksgiving.

My brother is home for Christmas this year, and my God daughter and her family are coming to visit. I asked my brother if he wanted to do duck and he said yes, and that we should brine it.

I've never brined a bird, but he said "Mrs. Food Blogger" could handle it, and I accepted the challenge.

I googled a bit and went off his recommendation of "salt, sugar, and orange" to come up with the below on my own, based on what we had.

1.5 cups table salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp mustard seed
1 Tbsp fennel seed
1 tsp celery seed
1 Tbsp black pepper
3 bay leaves
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup brewed tea, cooled
1/4 cup orange juice
2 navel oranges, cut into chunks (include peel)
1 head of garlic, cloves crushed and peeled
1-2 cups water, as needed

I put everything but the oranges and garlic in a 2 gallon zip bag. I squished the bag for a few minutes to help dissolve the salt and sugar. Then I added the oranges and garlic. I let everything sit for about 30 minutes to let the flavors start to blend.

Then I added the duck and squeezed the air out of the bag. I added about 1 cup of water for the solution to cover the entire duck. Once the bag was sealed, there was no air in it and the brine surrounded the entire bird. I put the bag in a giant bowl in the fridge to avoid any tipping or unplanned leaks.

I'm going to let it brine until Sunday morning when Chef Michael comes to prepare it. I'll let you all know how my first brining experience turns out! I'm excited!

Have you ever brined anything?


Biz said...

Merry Christmas Christina! You were such a beautiful bride! I loved all the pictures on facebook too. :D

I am sure the duck will be amazing - I love brining meat - it always stays tender and juicy!


Anonymous said...

I'm thinking of trying this on the duck I have for boxing day. I had better get on with it then :s

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