Weird Kitchen Gadget: Duck Press
Posted on April 6, 2011
It has been a long time since we’ve put up a weird kitchen gadget, but we are bringing it back, in a limited capacity. Rather than focusing on several weird kitchen gadgets, we’re only going to focus on one per post. For our first time back into the realm of weird kitchen gadgets, I will talk about a gadget that has been on the FSW site for a long time. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the duck press or poultry press. It has also been referred to as a duck crusher or duck juicer.
Each of the names used to describe the duck press is more barbaric than the last, and you may think, “That’s quite a macabre-sounding name for an innocent product.” Believe me, there’s nothing innocent about a duck press.
So What Is It, And What Does It Do?
A duck press is used to make a French delicacy called canard au sang (duck in its blood), also called pressed duck. The press is made of brass or another heavy metal. It has a small bucket with spigot and a heavy metal disk that attaches to a turning screw. Based on that description and the name of the dish, you can probably figure out what the duck press is used for, but just to make sure, here’s a brief description of how pressed duck is made.
A duck is strangled – so very little blood is lost in the slaughtering process – then roasted to medium rare. The legs are removed and grilled, the breast is cut into thin slices and the liver is removed and liquefied in a blender. The remaining duck carcass goes into the press, and the server cranks the screw down. All of the blood, bone marrow and cooking juices are squeezed out of the duck. The liquefied liver and a little cognac are added to the duck juice, and everything is heated. The resulting sauce is drizzled over the breast slices and served, along with the grilled legs, to the diner.
Oh, everything after the initial roasting process takes place at the dinner table, too, so diners get a firsthand look at how pressed duck is made. You can also watch this Youtube video to see a duck press in action. WARNING: The video might not be for the faint-of-heart, so consider yourself probably warned. Bon Appetit!