To Roast Ducks

Ducks trussed.
Young ducks, ½ hour: full sized, from ¾ to 1 hour.


[Ducks are in season all the year, but are thought to be in their perfection about June or early in July. Ducklings (or half-grown ducks) are in the greatest request in spring, when there is no game in the market, and other poultry is somewhat scarce.]

In preparing these for the spit, be careful to clear the skin entirely from the stumps of the feathers; take off the heads and necks, but leave the feet on, and hold them for a few minutes in boiling water to loosen the skin, which must be peeled off. Wash the inside of the birds by pouring water through them, but merely wipe the outsides with a dry cloth. Put into the bodies a seasoning of parboiled onions mixed with minced sage, salt, pepper, and a slice of butter when this mode of dressing them is liked; but as the taste of a whole party is seldom in its favour, one, when a couple are roasted, is often served without the stuffing. Cut off the pinions at the first joint from the bodies, truss the feet behind the backs, spit the birds firmly, and roast them at a brisk fire, but do not place them sufficiently near to be scorched; baste them constantly, and when the breasts are well plumped, and the steam from them draws towards the fire, dish, and serve them quickly with a little good brown gravy poured round them, and some also in a tureen; or instead of this, with some which has been made with the necks, gizzards, and livers well stewed down, with a slight seasoning of browned onion, some herbs, and spice.

Obs.—Olive-sauce may be served with roast as well as with stewed ducks.