This section is from the book "Philadelphia Cook Book: A Manual Of Home Economies", by Sarah Tyson Heston Rorer. Also available from Amazon: Philadelphia Cook Book.
Ducks, to be good, must be young and fat, the lower part of the legs and the webbing of the feet soft, the under bill, if the duck is young, will break easily. The breast should be plump and fat.
Mix the whole well, and fill the space from which the crop was taken and the body of the duck, sew and truss them the same as a chicken. Place in a baking-pan, cover the breast with a thin slice of bacon, add a half-cup of water and a half-teaspoonful of salt to the pan, and bake in a quick oven (if a full-grown duck) one and a quarter hours, basting every ten minutes. Serve with a sauce made from the giblets same as Roast Chicken. If ducklings, roast only forty-five minutes.
Ducks may also be stuffed with potato stuffing. (See recipe for Potato Stuffing.)
Draw, singe and clean the same as a chicken. Tuck the wings back, and fasten the legs down to the side of the body with a small skewer, or they may be sewed with a trussing-needle and twine. Put a piece of butter the size of a walnut in each duck, place them in a baking-pan, add a half-cup of water and a half-teaspoonful of salt to the pan, and bake in a quick oven forty-five minutes, basting every ten minutes. When done, dish, serve with giblet sauce, same as Roast Chicken.
1 pair of ducks
2 tablespoonfuls of flour
1 tablespoonful of mushroom catsup 1 bay leaf 1 pint of stock or boiling water
2 tablespoonfuls of butter 1 tablespoonful of onion juice 1 teaspoonful of lemon juice 1/2 gill of sherry, if you use wine
4 or 5 mushrooms may be added, if liked
Draw, clean, and singe the ducks the same as chicken. Place them in a baking-pan, put a thin slice of bacon over the breast, add a half-cup of water to the pan, and bake in a quick oven three-quarters of an hour, if tame ducks; if wild ones, bake only thirty minutes. Now take from the fire and carve them, making eight pieces of each duck - the wings, legs and second joints together, two pieces of the breast, and two of the back. Now put the butter in a saucepan, and stir until a dark brown; then add the flour, mix until smooth; add the stock or boiling water; stir continually until it boils, then add the onion juice, catsup, lemon juice, bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste, and the mushrooms chopped fine; now add the ducks and all the gravy from the dish on which you carved them; cover and simmer gently twenty minutes, if tame; ten minutes, if wild. Take from the fire, add the wine, and serve on a heated dish with a border of toasted bread cut into triangles. Arrange them around the dish with the points toward the outer edge, forming a pointed border. They should be cut before toasting.
Prepare the same as for Ragout of Duck, adding one dozen olives five minutes before serving time.
Stone the olives by cutting around and around, keeping close to the stone in the same manner as you pare an apple, and throw the stone away. Put the olives in boiling water and soak ten minutes, then put them in cold water until wanted.