Important Things to Keep In Mind when Cooking Duck Meat

When people buy duck meat, they are usually looking for the legs and breast, though some people also enjoy the bird’s liver. Ducks have a thick layer of fat between the outer skin and meat which offers additional rendering power and soaks the meat with flavour when cooked.

Duck Breeds that are Used for Meat

If you want to buy duck meat, try to look for the fresh varieties. If you cannot find fresh duck at your local grocery store, check local butchers or online markets. Visit When it comes to duck meat, you must prioritise freshness and quality over breed.

Below are the duck breeds used for meat:

  • Pekin. This is the widely used duck meat because of its flavoured and meaty. Pekin ducks have breasts that take well to pan roasting. Their legs are better suited for oven roasting and braising.
  •  Muscovy. This duck breed is thinner skinned and has a more intense flavour than the Pekin. Also, it has bigger breasts. The duck’s meat is deep red. It is perfect for roasting and stewing.
  • Moulard. This is a cross-breed between a Pekin and a Muscovy duck. This big duck has a stout constitution which makes it ideal for foie gras.

Classic Duck Dishes

Home and restaurant cooks produce tasty classic duck dishes such as the following:

  • Peking duck. This Chinese classic features crisp, lacquered skin and tender meat often served with hoisin sauce, pancakes, and other garnishes.
  • Duck à l’Orange. A warm, brightly acidic orange sauce cuts through the rich, fatty flavours of roasted duck.

  • Foie Gras. Some cooks pan-sear the liver of force-fed ducks and serve it with contrasting accompaniments such as a tart jam.
  • Duck Confit. In this French preparation, duck meat is cut and marinated and poached in its own fat, often with aromatic herbs and spices.

How to Prepare Duck

It is important to remember that duck breast is best medium-rare. Duck prepared well-done can take on a livery taste while rare duck is chewy.

Duck breasts can be air-dried for three days in the fridge to remove moisture from the skin. This will give it the perfect crisp during cooking. Duck legs can be marinated in red wine or an aromatic stock to infuse the meat with more flavour. When roasting duck, it has to be done in a 427 degrees F oven.  Boneless, skin-in duck breasts can be grilled just like a steak.

Post Author: Mary Giovanni