Duck can be purchased fresh or frozen. However, it is best to purchase fresh duck meat as it is juicier and healthy. That doesn’t mean frozen meat isn’t tastier, but frozen meat becomes hard and it takes time to cook it. While purchasing duck meat from store, always remember darker shade of meat means the meat is very old.
All parts of duck are used to prepare several dishes. However, the most commonly used meat is duck breast. It is cut in diamond shape, marinated and coated with herbs, seasonings and butter and left wrapped in aluminum sheet for few hours. Then the meat is baked in preheated oven of 400F. Meat will only be ready when it turns brown and crispy. 4 or 6 pounds of duck should be heated for 2.5 hours at 350F and 6 or 8 ounces of duck should be cooked for 10 to 15 minutes. Remember to leave fat on the skin while cooking.
Other parts can be cooked in different forms –
- Remove the skin from duck bottom and marinate it with herbs before heating it for 1.5 hours at 350F.
- Few duck livers can be combined with chicken liver, shallots, pepper, thyme, brandy, coconut milk and fat can be blended together in a processor to create duck liver mousse.
- Remaining duck fat can be poured in a jar and stored that is collected from pan after roasting meat. Then this can be utilized to prepare many other dishes like omelette, mashed potatoes, rice varieties, chopped liver etc.
- Once those parts of duck are roasted which you may not eat, collect the fat in a jar and cut meat in small pieces and cook until they become crispy. These are duck cracklings which can be stored in a jar and used as side dish with rice, salad etc.
- Since you have used all of meat but there are still some parts left so pull out all meat from bones and shred them in processor, then mix some brandy, thyme, pepper, nutmeg and duck fat to prepare Duck Rillettes.
- Finally, the bones are left which is generally thrown in the trash can. If you ask me, it can still be used to prepare soup for kids.
So, now you know that expensive duck flesh can be utilized in various ways. There isn’t any point in wasting money, there are many other ways of storing them for long. Try all those recipes to impress your family and prepare a feast.