In general, duck meat refers to the breast and legs of the bird, although some people enjoy the liver as foie gras. Ducks have a thick layer of fat between the outer skin and meat, offering them additional rendering power and soaking the meat with flavour when cooked.
Different Ways Duck can be Prepared
Generally, duck breast is often served medium-rare. Rare ducks are chewy while ducks prepared well-down can have a livery taste.
Here are ways duck meat can be prepared:
- Pan-seared. Duck breasts can be air-dried for three days in the fridge to eliminate moisture from the skin that leads to crispier skin during cooking. Before you pan-roast your duck, you must temper it, let it come to room temperature, and pierce the skin so the fat renders out faster. As the fat render out faster, the skin will become crispier and it will be easier to control the cooking temperature.
- You can roast the duck in a 425 degrees F oven. Just season the whole duck as you would a whole chicken and flip halfway through around 2 hours total.
- A lot of home cooks braise duck legs in anything from red wine to an aromatic stock. This way, the meat will be infused with even more flavour and have a fall-off-the-bone texture. Place the meat in the refrigerator to cool and crisp it up in the oven when the skin has set.
- This is a famous technique that involves the naturally fatty duck. It requires cooking the meat and preserving it in its own fat.
- You can grill boneless, skin-on duck breast just like a steak. Its fat will penetrate the meat in a very similar way.
Classic Duck Dishes
If you are looking for a duck recipe online, you may come across the following duck dishes:
- Peking duck. This Chinese classic features crisp, lacquered skin and tender meat. It is served with hoisin sauce, pancakes, and other garnishes such as sliced scallions.
- Duck à l’Orange: The brightly acidic orange sauce of this dish cuts through the rich, fatty flavours of roasted duck.
- Duck confit. This French classic involves curing, marinating, and poaching the meat in its own fat, often with aromatic herbs and spices.
- Thai duck stir-fry. This involves mincing the duck meat and frying it on the wok with spices and chilies and tossing it with herbs and fish sauce. It produces a crispy, spicy duck salad.