Let your duck be young and fat, if possible; having picked it well, draw it and singe carefully, without washing it, so as to preserve the blood, and consequently, all its flavour. You then truss it, leaving its head on for the purpose of distinguishing it from common game, and place it on the spit before a brisk fire, for at least fifteen minutes. Then serve it hot, in its own gravy, on a large chafing-dish. The best birds are found on the Potomac River; they have the head purple, and the breast silver colour, and it is considered superior in quality and flavour to any other species of wild duck. The season is only during the cold weather.
These are prepared for the spit exactly like the tame ones, with the exception of the stuffing, which is never used for wild fowl. A bit of soft bread soaked in port wine, or in claret, is sometimes put into them, but nothing more. Flour them well, lay them rather near to a very clear and brisk fire, that they may be quickly browned, and yet retain their juices. Baste them plentifully and constantly with butter, and, if it can be so regulated, let the spit turn with them rapidly. From fifteen to twenty minutes will roast them sufficiently for the generality of eaters; but for those who object to them much underdressed, a few additional minutes must be allowed. Something less of time will suffice when they are prepared for persons who like them scarcely more than heated through.
Teal, which is a more delicate kind of wild fowl, is roasted in the same way: in from ten to fifteen minutes it will be enough done for the fashionable mode of serving it, and twenty minutes will dress it well at a good fire.