Moist, tender, and bursting with layers of flavor is a proper description for my Stuffed Duck recipe, and when you add the caramelized Duck Fat Onions to the pot, well, I just run out of words.
Stuffing a fat duck with Cajun green onion sausage combined with diced apple is simple enough, but slow roasting it until tender, broiling it for a crispy finish, and adding Vidalia onions to the jus to soak up the duck fat is sheer brilliance. And it’s just in time for your fall table.
If you’re a regular at my Acadiana Table, you know my love affair with duck. Whenever my neighbor brings a sackful of wild ducks to my back door, my creative juices start flowing. But, sometimes I opt for a fat domestic duck—Muscovy duck, usually—that cooks up juicy and flavorful while it bastes in its own fat. It’s easy enough to source in most supermarkets and simple enough to prepare if you follow a few steps.
Duck is different. Unlike a chicken (or a turkey), duck contains fat (lots of fat), and depending on the breed and the size, it can seem daunting to cook through the thick layer that surrounds the meat. But with a long, slow roasting with a meat thermometer, and repeatedly pricking the skin and fat along the way, you arrive at tender duck.
And the onions, my God, the onions: The sweet sugars of my Vidalias ooze their nectar as they cook slowly in the duck fat-laced jus, and with a final run under the broiler to caramelize and render out the fat, what results are onions of your dreams.
This Stuffed Duck with Duck Fat Onions is perfect for your Sunday table this fall, so give the roast chicken a break and give roast duck a place on your Acadiana table.
- 2 pounds bulk raw pork sausage, such as Cajun green onion sausage
- 1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and finely diced
- ½ cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 (4 to 5 pound) duck, cleaned
- 2 tablespoons Acadiana Table Cajun Seasoning Blend, see recipe here
- 4 large whole Vidalia onions or any sweet onion, skins removed and cut in half
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- In a mixing bowl, add the pork sausage (remove from the casing, if necessary). Mix in the rest of the ingredients and combine.
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
- Inspect the duck and remove any pin feathers remaining as well as remove any packet of organ meats in the cavity. Rinse the inside of the duck thoroughly. Sprinkle the cavity and all sides of the duck with Cajun seasoning. Stuff the sausage/apple combination into the cavity.
- In a large disposable aluminum foil baking pan with high sides, place the onions on the bottom flat-side-up. Top with a wire rack and add the stuffed duck. Using the sharp point of a wooden skewer, repeatedly poke holes in the surface fat and skin of the duck on the top, bottom, and all sides, but do not pierce all the way to the meat. Add the water to the bottom of the pan and cook uncovered (repeat the pricking of the skin/fat at about the halfway point of cooking) until the duck juices run clear and the internal temperature of the duck (thigh portion) and the stuffing reaches 175ºF (90 to 120 minutes).
- Remove the foil roasting pan from the oven and increase the oven temp to broil. Move the cooked duck to a clean baking tray. Remove the onions from the roasting pan and place on a wire rack for 5 minutes to drain excess duck fat, and then place them alongside the duck on the baking tray.
- Just before serving, brush the top of the duck with butter and run under the broiler set to high for a minute or so until the skin begins to brown and crisp (watch carefully to prevent burning). Remove the duck and onions, place on a platter, and serve family style in the center of the table. Carve the duck into pieces and serve with the stuffing and onions.
YOUR SEAT AT THE TABLE: If you like this Cajun cooking story and Cajun recipe then accept my personal invitation to subscribe by entering your email at the bottom or top right of this page. It’s quick and painless. You will receive an email alert and be the first to see when new Cajun cooking stories and Cajun recipes are added. Thanks, George.