Roasted duck is considered an exquisite delicacy that is served all around the world. It is a great crowd-pleaser, and perfect for large gatherings.
However, Ducks have darker meat that is difficult to cut. At the same time, improperly slicing a roasted duck can ruin its taste.
So how to cut a roasted duck with a knife?
You need some kitchen appliances, and strictly follow some steps to make sure you don’t cut the roasted duck too hastily or cut in improper portions. Cut off the inessential parts and then separate and debone the parts you’d like to eat or store.
In this article, I’m going to go into detail about these simple yet effective techniques. These will help you master the art of cutting a roasted duck with a knife.
To cut an entire roasted duck, you’ll need some kitchen equipment. They are crucial to the slicing, deboning, and serving process.
You’ll need a solid cutting board to rest the duck after taking it out of the oven. A wooden cutting board is recommended, as the meat will not slip on it.
You can put kitchen wipes or a tea towel under the board to prevent it from slipping.
You’ll need a sharp kitchen knife to carve the duck. You can use either a big knife or a medium-sized knife, as long as it is sharp.
A 20 cm/8 inch chef’s knife is ideal for carving a duck. Make sure the handle has a grippy texture so as not to slip from your hand.
A carving fork is needed to hold the duck while cutting/slicing it. It is a bit different from a regular fork as it has two tines and a longer body.
However, you can also use a normal fork to get the job done.
A poultry shear is a scissor-like object that is specifically used to cut through bird bones, such as ducks.
Duck bones are strong, and cutting through them can be difficult, especially with a kitchen knife.
How To Cut A Roasted Duck With A Knife
Depending on how it is repurposed and cooked, a duck can be cut in different ways. However, we’re going to discuss the cutting method of a roasted duck with a knife.
Provided you have a roasted duck fresh out of the oven, the steps below should give you a professional-grade carved duck on a dish.
Step 1 – Rest The Duck
Take your roasted duck out of the oven and put it on a dry cutting board. Make sure the board is clean and stable. The breast side of the duck should be facing upwards.
Let the duck rest for at least 15 to 25 minutes. Resting the duck for some time will let the meat soak up the moisture, making it tender and juicy. Never carve a duck immediately after taking it out of the oven.
Doing so will result in the duck draining the moisture inside, seeping out all the juice on the cutting board. This will also make the meat dry and chewy.
After 15 to 25 minutes, take a carving fork and poke some shallow holes in the breast to get the vapor out from the inside.
Step 2 – Remove The Inessentials
Now we’re going to cut off the parts that cannot be deboned or used in a dish.
Cut the neck. Take a sharp kitchen knife and cut off the duck’s neck from the base. Skip this step if the neck is already removed.
Remove the wishbones. You’ll see two small wishbones sticking out of either side near the base of the neck.
Carve a line along the bones, and twist them to take them out. This will help carve out the breast later.
Step 3 – Carving The Wings
Cutting the wings first makes it easier to slice other parts of the duck.
Slice along the wings. Hold either one of the duck’s wings with your hands, and spread it out. Take the knife and slice gently over the skin where the wing is attached to the base. Push all around the skin till the bones are exposed.
Remove the wing completely. Hold the wing with your dominant hand and grip the duck’s body with your non-dominant hand. Twist the wing till it is completely removed from the body. You can also do this with poultry shears if you have them.
Repeat the process with the other wing. Put them separately on a plate.
Step 4 – Carving The Legs
Because of their fat and bone content, the legs of a roasted duck stay hot and tender for the longest time. So you should cut them as soon as possible.
Carve the skin between the hip joint and the leg. Hold one leg with your hand, and spread it out till you see the hip joint between the leg and the breast.
Carve along the skin between the hip joint and breast with a knife. Keep slicing till you see the bone joint.
Apply pressure to the bone. Firmly hold the drumstick with your non-dominant hand. Press and carve the knife into the hip joint with your dominant hand.
Apply pressure till the leg bone is completely severed from the joint.
Cut off the remaining skin and flesh to sever the leg. Keep the leg spread with your hand and slice off the fatty skin and tissue hanging around the leg joint.
Finally, pull off the entire leg quarter from the body.
Sever the drumstick from the leg quarter. Hold the leg quarter in an upright position, and cut along between the drumstick and leg quarter.
Cut till you see the joint. Pull the joint till you see bone. Cut through the bone till the drumstick is severed.
Repeat the steps with the second leg.
Step 5 – Carving The Breast
Now we’ll cut the most delicious and tender part of the duck.
Carve along the middle of the breast. Hold the duck and make a straight, deep incision along the middle line between the two breasts. Start from the top of the duck’s neck, ending at the bottom of the body.
Push the knife inside till you feel the duck’s carcass. Cut in one long straight stroke till the two breasts have a separating line between them.
Slice along the carcass to take off the breasts. Take one side of the breast, and slice along the carcass bones to separate it from the body.
Since there are no bones, the breast should come off easily.
Put the breast on the cutting board. Put the breast on the cutting board, and carve it into smaller pieces for serving. Cut off any excess skin or fat if you like, or leave it as it is.
Repeat the process with the other breast.
Take off any excess meat that is hanging from the body. Use the knife or your hands to gently remove any extra skin, fat, or meat.
Serve And Enjoy!
The cutting process is complete. If you’ve followed all the steps properly, you should have a nicely carved roasted duck. Serve the meat on a plate, and enjoy!
If you still have any confusion about the entire process, have a look at this video.
Here are some common questions about carving a duck.
How do you carve a duck?
A duck should be carved with long and deep incisions around the joints so that none of the parts are wasted.
How long should you rest a roasted duck?
You should rest a roasted duck for at least 15 to 25 minutes. Resting a duck helps it circulate the moisture inside and makes it tender.
How long should I cook a whole duck?
For every 1 kilogram of duck, you should cook it for 40 minutes in the oven. Give it 10 minutes extra, just to be safe.
In this article, I’ve given you a complete overview of how to cut a roasted duck with a knife. These techniques are universal and are used by millions of homemakers as well as professionals.
Try these cutting techniques the next time you’re roasting a duck at home. Thanks for reading.