Duck is the delicious middle ground between white and dark meat. Duck meat is versatile and packed with a richer flavor than chicken or turkey. In general, duck meat refers to the breast and legs of the bird. Ducks have a layer of fat between their outer skin and meat, soaking the meat with flavor. Whether you want to prepare duck confit or roasted duck, here are pieces of information you need to know about duck meat:
Duck Breeds Used for Meat
If possible, fresh duck meat should be used. But, if you cannot find fresh duck at your local grocery store, you can check out online markets and local butchers. In terms of duck meat, you must give more emphasis on freshness and quality over breed.
Here are the common duck breeds used for meat:
- Pekin duck. The meat of this duck is the most commonly available in the U. S. It features a mild and meaty flavor. The breasts of a Pekin duck are ideal for pan roasting while its legs are perfect for braising and oven roasting.
- Muscovy. A Muscovy’s duck is deep red, with a gamier taste than Peking duck. It is ideal for roasting and stewing and frequently used for making soups and stock.
- Moulard. This duck has a stout constitution which makes it ideal for foie gras. Also, it is often used in duck confit.
How to Prepare Duck Meat
Remember that duck breast is best medium rare. Duck prepared well-done can take on a livery taste. Rare duck meat can be chewy.
Here are different ways to prepare duck:
- Pan-seared. Duck breasts can be air-dried for three days in the fridge to eliminate moisture from the skin. This way, it can crisp more readily during cooking. Before you pan-roast, temper the duck, allow it to come to room temperature. Then, pierce the skin to let the fat render fast. You can serve the crispy duck meat in an umami-packed salad or with a sweet glaze for a holiday meal-worthy main course.
- Confit. Confit is a famous technique that involves the naturally fatty duck. It requires cooking and preserving in its own fat.
- Braised. Duck legs are ideal for braising which can be done in anything from red wine to an aromatic stock. This will infuse the meat with even more flavor and fall-off-the-bone texture. Throw the meat in the fridge to cool and crisp it up in the oven when the skin has set.