Cooking Duck Is for Everyone
April 2016

by Grace College student Melissa Sorensen, Warsaw, IN
 
Life is about challenges and trying new things. When I was presented with the opportunity to cook with duck, I was extremely intimidated. However, I decided to enjoy trying something different, and I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.
 
I’m certainly not an experienced cook. Sure, growing up I helped my mom in the kitchen, and in high school I occasionally cooked dinner or baked cookies, but that is about the extent of my expertise. Since I’ve been in college, I’ve had few opportunities or time to cook a meal.
 
Many times my efforts did not turn out the most pleasant, so that made this opportunity to cook duck even more intimidating. The three main things I learned from this experience were: inexperienced cooks can make a successful meal with duck, cooking with duck is different from other more traditional meats, and a meal with duck does not have to be fancy.
 
Cooking with duck does not have to be reserved for those who are experienced. I chose to use Maple Leaf Farms’ recipe for duck bacon burgers on the grill and paired this with a side salad. This is an easy recipe that anyone of any cooking experience level can follow.
 
I also learned was that while this was similar to cooking with beef, there were some differences. The main difference when cooking with ground duck is that the consistency of ground duck is different from ground beef. Ground duck needs an ingredient such as bread crumbs to give it a sturdy consistency. Also, duck bacon is different from pork bacon. You must make sure that it does not become overdone because overcooked duck bacon does not get crispy like pork bacon but chewy.
 
Last, cooking with duck does not mean that you need to make a fancy meal. I thought this would be a time-consuming event but it actually only took about a half-hour to complete. Burgers on the grill are appropriate for any relaxed occasion.
 
If you’re interested in cooking with duck, but feel like you need more information before you start, head over to Maple Leaf Farms’ website for more information. They have videos made by experienced chefs which will help you with your duck cooking needs. They also have a wide variety of recipes for duck.
 
Recipe
Duck Bacon BurgerIngredients
 
Burgers
2 lb. Maple Leaf Farms All Natural Ground Duck
4 Tbsp. Bread Crumbs
2 Tbsp. White Onion, minced
1 tsp. Minced Garlic
1 tsp. Paprika
1/4 tsp. Chili Powder
Salt and Pepper, to taste
 
Olive Oil
 
6 strips Maple Leaf Farms Duck Bacon, halved
6 Hamburger Buns
6 slices Cheddar Cheese
 
 
Directions
1. Heat grill to medium-high heat.
 
2. Mix burger ingredients, except for salt and pepper, in a large bowl. Divide mixture into six equal parts and form into patties. Generously season each side of all six patties with salt and pepper.
 
3. Lightly brush grill rack with olive oil. Place burgers on rack and cook, flipping frequently until internal temperature of burgers reaches 155 degrees F.
 
4. While burgers are cooking, place bacon on grill and cook until crisp.
 
5. Once burgers are done, remove from heat and let sit 3 to 5 minutes. Brush insides of hamburger bun halves with duck fat and toast lightly on the grill. Serve each burger on a toasted bun with two bacon half-strips and top with cheese and desired condiments.
 
Duck Burgers and Duck Bacon Cooking Duck Bugers Cooking
Duck Bacon on Duck Burger Duck Bacon Burgers