Half roast a pair of ducks. Then cut them apart, as for carving. If they are wild-ducks, parboil them with a large carrot (cut to pieces) inside of each, to draw out the fishy or sedgy taste. Having thrown away the carrot, cut the ducks into pieces, as for carving. Put them into a clean stew-pan, and season them with pepper and salt. Mix in a deep dish a very small onion minced fine, a table-spoonful of minced or powdered tarragon-leaves, (for which you may substitute sage and sweet-marjoram, if you cannot procure tarragon,) and two or three large tomatoes, scalded, peeled, and quartered, or two large table-spoonfuls of thick tomato catchup. Put in, also, two table-spoonfuls of fresh butter rolled in grated bread-crumbs, and a glass of port wine, claret, or brandy, with a small tea-spoonful of powdered mace. Cover the pieces of duck with this mixture, and then add barely as much water as will keep the whole from burning. Cover the pan closely, and let the fricassee stew slowly for an hour, or till the duck, etc, are thoroughly done.
Having rubbed them slightly with salt, and parboiled them for about twenty minutes with a large carrot (cut to pieces) in each, to take off the sedgy or fishy taste, remove the carrots, cut up the ducks, and put them into a stew-pan with just sufficient water to cover them, and some bits of butter rolled slightly in flour. Cover the pan closely; and let the ducks stew for a quarter of an hour or more. Have ready a mixture in the proportion of a wine-glass of sherry or madeira; the grated yellow rind and the juice of a large lemon or orange, and one large table-spoonful of powdered loaf-sugar. Pour this over the ducks, and let them stew in it about five minutes longer. Then serve them up in a deep dish with the gravy about them. Eat the stewed duck on hot plates with heaters under them.
Cold roast duck that has been under-done is very fine stewed as above. Venison also, and wild geese.
Having trussed the ducks, put into each a thick piece of soft bread that has been soaked in port wine. Place them before a quick fire and roast them from three quarters to an hour. Before they go to table, squeeze over each the juice of a lemon or orange; and serve them up very hot with their own gravy about them. Eat them with currant jelly. Have ready also a gravy made by stewing slowly in a sauce-pan the giblets of the ducks in butter rolled in flour and as little water as possible. Serve up this additional gravy in a boat.
Truss the ducks without washing; but wipe them inside and out with a clean dry cloth. Roast them before a rather quick fire for half an hour. Then send them to table hot, upon a large dish placed on a heater. There must also be heaters under each plate, and currant jelly on both sides of the table, to mix with the gravy, on your plate; claret or port wine also, for those who prefer it as an improvement to the gravy.
Put the giblets into a sauce-pan with the yellow rind of a lemon pared thin, a very little water, and a piece of butter rolled in flour, and a very little salt and cayenne. Let them stew gently to make a gravy; keeping the saucepan covered. In the mean time, half roast the ducks, saving the gravy that falls from them. Then cut them up; put them into a large stew-pan, with the gravy (having first skimmed off the fat) and merely water enough to keep them from burning. Set the pan over a moderate fire, and let them stew gently till done. Towards the last (having removed the giblets) pour over the ducks the gravy from the small sauce-pan, and stir in a large glass of port wine, and a glass of currant jelly. Send them to table as hot as possible.
Any ducks may be stewed as above. The common wild-ducks, teal, etc, should always be parboiled with a large carrot in the body to extract the fishy or sedgy taste. On tasting this carrot before it is thrown away, it will be found to have imbibed strongly that disagreeable flavour.