This is a great use of an inexpensive light red you may have foolishly bought again around the start of November.
More so it is a fantastic way to present whole duck.
It does require de-boning the whole bird intact. To do this is very easy, but will require a sharp knife and 30 minutes. Flip duck over to backside and cut a slit to the bone from the neck to tail. Working from one side of cut, slice against bone leaving the skin and fat attached to the meat. Continue to work away meat to the thigh joint, pop from the socket and pull back. Do the same with the wing joint. Continue carefully to the breast then repeat on other side. Finally separate thin connection between fat and top of breast bone careful not to cut all the way through. Then work knife around leg and wing bones leaving outer skin intact around meat. Make fantastic meat stock with carcass bones.
Whole Duck Stuffed with Farro, Figs and Sausage
- 1 5-7lb whole duck
- 12-16 whole black figs
- 1 1/2 cups gamay based wine
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 2-3 sprigs thyme
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 6 whole allspice
- 1 lb mild pork sausage
- 1 cup farro
- 3/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned*, and coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped sage
A day before serving rinse and soak farro in cold water. Bring wine, sugar, and whole spices to a boil, then simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add figs and cover. Let both stand overnight.
Day of bring 4 cups salted water to a boil and cook farro until al dente, strain and let cool to room temperature. Slice soaked figs into quarters. Add raw sausage, sage, hazelnuts and figs to farro and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Take duck carcass and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Arrange meat skin down and spoon stuffing into a 3″ thick cylinder down center of meat. Pull together into a log and secure with kitchen twine every 2″. Place slit side down in a pan with roasting rack with 1 cup wine in base. Roast, basting every 15 minutes at 375 degrees until thermometer in stuffing center is 160 degrees about 1 1/2-2 hours. Turn heat down to 325 degrees after first hour. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Serve hot with pan gravy made from 1/2 cup drippings and 3 cups fresh carcass stock.