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How to Prepare and Cook Duck Meat

Although is known for its high fat content, it is a nutrient-dense type of poultry. It contains a lot of healthy unsaturated and has a rich, meaty flavour. The majority of ways to cook duck involve preparing it to render out the fat, leaving the skin crispy. The rendered fat can be used like cooking oil or butter used in cooking. With canard confit, the meat is cooked low and slow in its own fat. Duck meat is a great source of protein, healthy fat, and micronutrients including niacin, iron, and selenium. This makes it a healthy alternative to other meat.

Preparing the Meat

Duck has a uniquely rich and strong flavor that is both sweet and savoury. It is closer in flavour to red meat and has a textured and appearance similar to steak. Duck can be prepared in many ways. These include roasted whole duck, classic duck leg confit, pan-seared and roasted duck breast, duck bacon, and more.

Duck meat tends to pair well with fruits and vegetables with natural sweetness like cherries, apricots, and pomegranate. It is also perfect with potatoes and winter squash. To prepare duck breasts, render the fat and crisp up the skin. Score the skin through the fat, then cook, slowly skin-side down to render out the fat. When done, you can preserve the fat or discard it, and transfer the breasts to a preheated oven to finish cooking to your desired temperature.

If you want to make duck confit, you want to use the legs and thighs because they are the bird’s fattiest parts. Letting the legs sit at least overnight with herbs imparts more flavour into the meat and fat. As the meat hangs out in the fat as it slowly cooks, you must use high-quality fresh herbs.

Cooking Duck

Although a lot of chefs prefer to serve duck medium-rare, the USDA recommends cooking the meat to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F as you would other poultry. But, because duck has dark meat and tight muscle fibres, these muscles are usually cooked much like beef for tender results. If properly handled, duck can be served pink. Well done duck breast is too tough as opposed to being cooked to medium-rare. Keep in mind that also that duck legs are comparable to the tougher cuts of meat in beef and should be cooked using either a moist-heat cooking technique like braising or roasted slow and low and all way through to ensure the meat is tender.

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