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Tips for Cooking Duck

Duck is a flavourful type of meat that many home cooks appreciate. It is versatile; however, tricky to cook. Regardless of the cut you are preparing, cooking duck meat comes down to rendering off fat and getting the skin crispy. Whether you are just about to try duck or have been cooking it in your home for a while, the tips and recipe ideas below can help you add the meat to your kitchen repertoire:

Picking the Best Meat

The freshest duck meat you can find in stores has clean, feather-free, odour-free, and off white skin. Frozen ducks are usually plum-breasted and wrapped in airtight packages. If you are planning to purchase duck in a supermarket, make sure to check the “sell by” date.

Storing Duck Meat

When storing duck meat, do not remove it from its original wrapping. Just add an extra layer of wrapping using an aluminum foil to make sure there’s no leak.  As with other meat, it has to be stored in the coldest part of the fridge. Don’t store the giblet together with the meat.

When you go to the market, you can find ducks widely available frozen. If you buy a frozen duck from a store, place it in the freezer in its original wrapping. Make sure to date the package. If you want to have the meat in its freshest form, use it within three months. But, you may be able to find frozen ducks with packages stating the expiration date.

Preparing the Breast Part

Sautéing duck breast is totally different from what you used to. It’s because you have to begin with a cold pan, low heat, and without oil. Also, you will need to cut a cross-hatch pattern into the skin so the fat will render out.

There are many kinds of duck so duck breasts also differ. Many people like the Moulard that yields 12 to 14 ounce breasts. Peking and Muscovy are also a favorite because of their rich flavours and availability.

Browning the breast of a duck takes a long time so patience is necessary. Put the duck skin-side down in a cold pan and put the pan over medium-low heat. When the fat starts to render, raise the heat slowly to medium. When the skin adheres to the pain, gently lift the breast and set the edge back down. When lifted from the opposite side, the breast will not release with all the skin in it.

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