Monday, October 11, 2010

Poor Little Duckie

DP & I have driven past the sign pointing to Nulkaba Hatchery many times, saying we should check it out, well on Saturday we did.

It's a small farm, raising free-range chickens & ducks, when we drove in there were 2 big white dogs sleeping under a tree, apparently 'guarding' the stock.

As we turned the corner there would have been thousands of ducks sitting on the grass, under trees, wandering around on the grass. Near a barn there were hundreds of baby chickens, wandering through dust, and swimming in puddles. 

We pulled up, there was 1 other car there (they were buying chickens & related stuff to set up a pen at home), and went into a little room come shop. There was a wall of free range chicken, duck & quail eggs. Another wall of honey & jams (I had to resist the passionfruit jam). A feezer of frozen chickens, ducks & quails, and a fridge of the same.

We selected a duck & a chicken from the fridge, and a dozen free range eggs, totalling $31, which we thought was pretty good value.

We were hoping for duck breasts but went with the whole bird, as the hatchery is still waiting on Council approval to build a processing factory to sell breasts etc.

The owner of the hatchery gave us instructions on cooking the duck (our first), in an oven bag, slow and not too hot, because they're free-range they don't have as much fat as intensively farmed ones, therefore can't be cooked to hard.

We went shopping for fresh veg to cook with the duck and were set.

Now I don't know how much blame we can lay on our dodgy as hell oven (which we're replacing soon), our our cooking skills, but we cooked it at 180c for an hour in the bag, then out of the bag for another 30 mins.  The skin was kind of crispy in spots, but the meat (when we could find it!) was quite overcooked we thought.

It still tasted nice, but it was hard work to get much meat off the bird, we made a terrible mess of the poor little duckie.

The experience has probably scared us off cooking a whole duck again for a while, but we're keen to try cooking breasts on their own, we will not allow duck to be our nemesis :)

Till next time,

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