Duck: The Poultry of Plentiful Possibilities
Whether you're having a big party, a romantic evening for two, a family dinner or you just want to treat yourself, duck is the ideal option.
Once considered only a white tablecloth feature, duck is making appearances on salads, sandwiches, pasta, pizza and much more. One reason is it’s now easier to find farm-raised White Pekin duck with a tender, mild flavor that’s not “gamey.” In fact, this duck has a delicious, red meat flavor that’s more similar to steak than to chicken or turkey and substitutes equally for either in recipes.
Nutritious and Delicious
Here’s more good news: You don’t have to sacrifice flavor to make a healthy choice. Duck fat has similar health benefits to olive oil and other unsaturated fat, and White Pekin duck breast is comparable in fat and calories to a skinless chicken or turkey breast, but it has a rich, bold flavor. To eliminate up to 70 percent of the fat, while crisping the skin and adding to the distinct flavor of the meat, simply score and sear the duck breast before finishing it on the grill or in the oven.
Duck Cooking Facts and Tips
- Duck breast is best when cooked medium or medium rare so it's slightly pink in the center.
- Duck, like all meats and poultry, should rest after cooking to allow the juices to settle in the meat.
- For a duck dinner with Mediterranean flair, serve it with polenta and grilled vegetables with olive oil and herbs.
- To put a Tex-Mex spin on it, use a spicy rub and serve with a roasted tomato salsa and seasoned corn.
- For a taste of India, use a rub of orange zest, cumin and curry powder on duck. Serve with coconut basmati rice.
- Caribbean jerk seasoning gives duck a tropical flavor. Serve with roasted beets topped with caramelized onions or with a mango papaya chutney.
- Rubbing the skin of a raw duck with paprika helps create a golden, crispy skin when roasting.
However you like to cook your duck—and even if you don’t want to cook at all—you can get a selection of products from raw, duck breast and whole duck to fully cooked, heat-and-serve duck legs and appetizers from Maple Leaf Farms.