Boning & Trussing a Duck

  1. Lay the duck breast down on a board.
  2. Cut off the wings at the second joint. These wing tips may be used to make stock.
  3. Use a strong, sharp, short-bladed knife to split the skin down the centre of the back from neck to tail.
  4. Starting just below the neck cavity, cut down along each side of the backbone. Work carefully, easing back the skin and flesh until you come to the ball joint of the thigh bone.
  5. Place the tip of your knife in the ball and socket of the thigh joint on one side, and twist it to sever the thigh bone. Repeat this action on the other side.
  6. Slide the knife towards the neck until the upper part of the wing is well exposed. Free the other wing bone in the same way.
  7. Cut through the wing joints, and continue to cut carefully until you reach the breastbone. Keep the blade of the knife as close to the bones as possible.
  8. Lift up the bones and cut away the remaining flesh, taking care not to puncture the breast.
  9. Sever the carcass at the tail, separating it completely from the flesh. The carcass may be used to make stock.
  10. Starting from the inside of the duck and pushing down on the flesh, free the leg bones from the body. Once you have reached the 'knob' at the end of each drumstick, chop off the leg bone with a cleaver, leaving the `knob' in the duck.
  11. Free each wing bone in the same manner, leaving the 'knobs' at the end of the wing joints in the duck.
  12. Fill the bird with a stuffing of your choice. However, take care not to pack it too tightly or the duck may split during cooking.
  13. Sew up the slit using a trussing needle and string.
  14. Manipulate the duck into a long, oval shape.
  15. Prick the fatty parts of the bird (back end and thighs), to allow the fat to run out freely during roasting.