The bird should be dry-picked, and the head left on. Put a little pepper and salt inside the bird, but no other dressing. Lay the duck on its back in the bake-pan. Put no water in the pan. The oven must be hot, but not hot enough to burn; test with the hand. Baste frequently with butter or bacon. A canvasback requires about thirty minutes; other birds according to size. When done, the duck should be plump, and the flesh red, not blue.
This is the way to bring out the distinctive flavor of a canvasback. Seasoning and stuffing destroy all that. A canvasback should not be washed either inside or outside, but wiped clean with a dry cloth. Duck should be served with currant jelly, if you have it. (See also page 55).
Clean well and divide into convenient pieces (say, legs, wings, and four parts of body). Place in pot with enough cold water to cover. Add salt, pepper, a pinch of mixed herbs, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce. Cut up fine some onions and potatoes (carrots, too, if you can get them). Put a few of these in the pot so they may dissolve and add body to the dish (flour or corn starch may be substituted for thickening). Stew slowly, skim and stir frequently. In forty-five minutes add the rest of the carrots, and in fifteen minutes more add the rest of the onions and potatoes, also turnips, if you have any. Stew until meat is done.
A plainer camp dish is to stew for an hour in water that has previously been boiled for an hour with pieces of salt pork. (See also page 59).