Duck is becoming more and more popular, but many people are still yet to try this succulent and nutritious meat. Either because you’re sticking to what you know in case you don’t like it, or because it’s not on the menu at your favorite restaurant! But if you have never tasted duck meat and are willing to give it a try, you are in the right place. This article will provide you with everything you need to know about Duck meat, from how it tastes to how to prepare it best. So you’ll know the best way to enjoy this underappreciated delicacy.
So, what does duck taste like?
Even though duck is a type of poultry, you can’t compare its taste to either chicken or turkey. First and foremost, it has less meat on it. Regardless, duck meat is incredibly flavorful and is equally nutrient-dense. It is a great source of healthy fat, various minerals, and vitamins, as well as protein.
Duck meat is extremely juicy and tasty. It has a rich and Gamey flavor. What’s more, unlike chicken, duck boasts a strong meaty flavor that is quite distinct compared to other bird meats. Due to its strong flavor, it is best served with a sweet, savory sauce.
One of the reasons why duck has a different taste to other poultry is because of its relatively thicker skin, which also boasts greater fat content. This is where duck gets its rich, unique flavor, so you should never remove it when cooking your duck meat. Simply put, duck has a quite distinct taste, which is more similar to roast red meat than chicken meat.
Farmed Vs Wild duck:
There is a significant difference between the taste of Wild and Farmed Duck. To put it simply, wild duck is fairly more flavorful. The biggest difference is perhaps in the fat content. Wild ducks have the freedom to roam freely and also to consume a variety of foods. What’s more, they can make long flights, allowing them to build somewhat leaner and stronger muscles.
Farmed Ducks, on the other hand, don’t always experience the same natural or extreme environment. As a result, their meat will be fairly fattier and will also have a slightly different texture. Like any other wild animal, wild Ducks have a stronger tasting, gamier meat.
Is Duck meat healthy?
While usually associated with high-fat content, duck meat is more nutrient-dense than you might think. The fat in the duck meat has numerous advantages. It is imperative to note that a significant chunk of the fats in the duck are healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which are considered healthy for your body.
Even though heart-healthy fats such as omega fatty acids are good for your health, saturated fats aren’t always the best. And out of the 39g of fat available in 100g serving of duck meat with skin, nearly 13g is saturated fat. According to the American Heart Association, you should restrict your saturated fat consumption to 5 or 6% of your caloric intake. Of course, this is because excess saturated fat can potentially increase cholesterol in your body, thereby enhancing your risk of cardiovascular problems.
The average individual consuming a 2000-calorie diet should take about 13g of saturated fat daily, implying that 100g serving of duck breast with skin is just fine for your body. Simply put, duck meat is healthy and offers a moderate rate of protein, minerals, and vitamins, and of course, a relatively higher fat content than other birds. However, most of this fat comes from the duck’s skin, which anybody who prefers a lower calorie or fat content can easily remove. What’s more, this fat content is majorly monounsaturated fatty acids, which don’t pose any danger to your health!
And in terms of potential benefits, duck is an excellent source of essential nutrients, including niacin, vitamin E, and selenium, providing at least 20% of the recommended daily intake. Vitamin E and selenium, when paired together, helps protect your body cells from damage that could otherwise lead to cardiovascular problems and cancer.
Duck meat also contains more iron per serving compared to other birds, including turkey and chicken. Iron serves as an essential component of the body’s blood, not only helping in brain development but also supporting a healthy immune system.
Does duck taste Gamey?
If you are used to eating farmed animals, you’ll instantly realize that duck meat tastes quite different! This is because duck boasts a stronger and wilder flavor. Also, the meat is fairly tender, juicy, and somewhat meaty, and high-fat content. Thanks to its thick skin, duck meat becomes quite crispy when cooked!
Even though it is poultry, duck meat is considered red meat. And this is because it is very rich in iron, which also gives it the red color and taste. Duck is the perfect combo of poultry nutrition and red meat’s gamey and delicious taste.
Is Duck meat difficult to cook?
Don’t worry if you are not a professional cook or chef. With a little bit of guidance, practice, and a few tips, nearly anybody can successfully prepare and cook a delicious and simple Duck meal. For first-timers, though, the whole duck-cooking process might seem a little intimidating. As opposed to either chicken or turkey, duck has a layer of fat beneath the skin, and the meat also dark, including the breasts. However, you can easily remove most of the fat from the meat before cooking. We have a few amazing duck recipes and detailed instructions for you, so you’ll have an easy time preparing some sumptuous duck dishes!
Popular Duck recipes:
Most people love a roasted duck, whereas some also can’t get enough rich and highly flavorful Duck in confit. Below are the two most popular duck recipes. Of course, Duck is a highly versatile meat, and there are potentially endless duck recipes out there!
Five-spice roasted duck with port and Clementines:
Thanks to the spices and clementines, this simple duck recipe brings a whole roast bird to the table while filling your kitchen with an inviting aroma!
Ingredients: one whole duck (about two kilograms), Chinese five-spice (3 tablespoons), chicken stock (150ml), clementines (three zested and juiced), and one tablespoon of olive oil.
- A few hours before cooking, put your duck in a rack and over a roasting tin. Pour on a kettle of boiled water over the meat and allow it to cool before you pour away the liquid. Leave your duck uncovered for about three hours in the fridge.
- When ready to roast, pat dry using kitchen paper and prick the skin all over with a knife to allow more fat to drip out.
- Heat your oven to 200C/fan 185C/gas 6. Gently mix the five-spice, olive oil, and clementine zest with some seasoning in a small bowl, and thereafter rub the resulting mixture all over your meat—Juice the clementines.
- After this, roast your duck for sixty minutes. Place the duck onto a plate and cover it with aluminum foil and allow it to rest for half an hour. Drain off the duck fat into a bowl before adding the port and chicken stock to the roasting tin and remove any sticky bits. Pour into a cooking pan and cook on the hob for a couple of minutes, until reduced slightly. Stir through the season, clementine juice, and strain. Serve your roast duck with the source.
Simple Duck confit:
Ingredients: A glass of white wine, a liter of chicken stock, one small onion (chopped), two bay leaves, six duck legs, thyme (3 springs), garlic (one bulb, cloves separated), and a tablespoon of black peppercorns.
- Heat the thyme, wine, onion, stock, garlic, bay, and peppercorns in a pan that is spacious enough to accommodate your duck legs until simmering. Nestle in your duck, with the skin facing down. And they should be fully submerged inside the liquid, and you may have to add some water if need be. Cover the content and cook for one and a half hours until the meat is tender enough!
- Cool in the stock, then removes the duck without piercing the skin. After this, put the duck inside a freezable container and subsequently freeze.
- To serve, first, defrost the duck overnight. Next, heat your oven to 220/fan 200/gas 7 and place the duck legs on a tray, ensuring the skin is still intact and sprinkle with salt. Cook for about half an hour until it turns golden and crispy!
For more great Duck recipes, we’ve found a brilliant selection from Jamie Oliver. I highly recommend checking out some of his delicious Duck dishes.
How to prepare Duck Breast
We need to refer you to a professional for the preparation and cooking of the perfect Duck Breast. Here’s a great video from Gordon Ramsey.
Why is duck meat so expensive?
There are many reasons why duck is more expensive compared to chicken. First and foremost, ducks take fairly longer than chickens to grow. Unlike meat chickens, ducklings usually require at least a week or two to grow to marketable size. Normally, a meat chicken takes about six weeks to grow to marketable weight, whereas a meat duck will require about seven weeks. While this might only seem like a week’s difference, it translates to ducks taking nearly 14% longer to raise.
While seven days might not seem like a big deal when rearing a few ducklings domestically, it is a worthwhile consideration when operating a business raising ducks. And these extra days, though negligible, must be factored into the final cost the consumer pays, or the farm raising the ducks will lose a significant amount of cash!
Another thing that perhaps makes duck more expensive than chicken is that ducklings are generally more expensive than chicks. In fact, the cost to start a batch of ducklings to grow for meat is at least twice the cost to start a similar size batch of meat chickens. Ducks also need more space to grow compared to their chicken counterparts. To be more precise, ducks require at least 25% more space per bird to grow than chickens. And when you consider duck keeping at scale, a 25% difference in the number of birds you can keep in the same space is a big one.
The Bottom line:
While not as popular as either turkey or chicken, duck is gradually gaining one of the most esteemed dishes in America. Duck is not only packed with numerous essential vitamins and minerals but also boasts a somewhat gamier flavor, making it sweet and enjoyable even when not prepared and cooked with any particular recipe. Simply put, duck is extremely versatile meat suitable for anyone looking for a healthy yet delicious meal.
Read also: What Does Lamb Taste Like?