Trussing a Duck with a Needle

Appears in
The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Cuisine

By French Culinary Institute

Published 2021

  • About
  1. Trim off and discard (or render) any excess fat.
  2. If desired, for easy slicing at service, remove the wishbone in the following manner: Push the skin back on the breast and cut an incision on each side of the wishbone. Slide your fingers through the incision, gently forcing the meat away from the bone. Pull out and discard the wishbone.
  3. Using a chef’s knife, cut off the wings at the second joint.
  4. Season the interior cavity of the duck with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Cut a piece of kitchen string about 75 centimeters (28 inches) long. Thread the larding needle with the string.
  6. Push the duck legs up toward the breast. Tuck them tightly against the breast to plump it up.
  7. Lift the drumstick and insert the needle in the soft spot in the lower part of the backbone, making certain that the needle is anchored in the bone rather than just the skin.
  8. Push the needle out on the opposite side where the thigh and drumstick join.
  9. Turn the duck on its breast, push the needle through the wing section, the loose neck skin, the skin of the back, and the other wing.
  10. Turn the duck on its back and push the needle into the middle joint of the leg, through the lower back, and reverse the preceding step.
  11. Lift the skin of the tail end and push the needle through. It is important that the needle go through the lower part of the skin so that it makes a tight loop that will hold the drumstick in place.
  12. Tightly pull up both ends of the string and secure with a knot.
  13. Push the tail into the anal opening and the duck is ready to roast.