This is a very simple recipe that I do with fat wild ducks. You can use domesticated ducks equally well. Don't do this with a skinny wild duck, as the meat will dry out too much. And yes, it must be done with a plucked duck. Substitute pearl onions for shallots if you want. Always eat this with good bread.
2whole small wild ducks, or 1 large wild duck, or a domestic
1poundred grapes, on the stems
12 to 15shallots or pearl onions
1bunchfresh thyme, on the stems
1cupduck or chicken stock
Salt the ducks well, inside and out. Preheat the oven to 400F. Pour the stock and red wine into the bottom of a heavy, lidded pot such as a Dutch oven. Add the 2 bay leaves. Arrange the shallots, grapes and thyme in the pot, then nestle the ducks on top. Cover the pot and roast in the oven for 90 minutes.
Uncover the pot and let everything cook down. This will also crisp the skin of the ducks. This can take anywhere from 15 to 40 minutes, depending on how fat your birds were. Keep an eye on it.
Slice the ducks in half lengthwise, and serve everyone a half duck with some of the shallots and grapes, along with lots of sauce.