Duck is a flavourful meat that some home cooks love. Whether you are on the market to try boneless duck breast, whole duck, or duck legs, here are some ideas you can consider:
Buying Fresh or Frozen Duck
It is often best to buy fresh duck because you will end up getting meat that is clean, odour-free, off-white, and feather-free. But, if you can only buy frozen duck, make sure it is plump-breasted and wrapped in airtight packages. If you purchase the meat in a supermarket, don’t forget to check the “sell by” date.
Keeping your Meat Fresh
Just like other poultry, it is often best to keep duck in its original wrapping. Also, you must overwrap it with aluminum foil to catch any leakage. Fresh duck meat must be stored in the coldest portion of your fridge. If you buy giblets along with the meat, wrap and store them separately. But you are more likely to buy frozen duck than a fresh one which doesn’t require serious freezing. Frozen duck that you can buy from stores must be placed in the freezer in its original wrapping. Make sure to consume the meat within three months.
When it is time to use the duck, defrost a whole duck by putting it in a dish in the fridge. Don’t thaw the duck outside the freeze as it can catch bacteria. It will take between 24-36 hours to thaw a five-pound duck. Another way to defrost the bird is to submerge in a pot or sink full of water. However, you need to use cold water for this because warm water tends to thaw the meat quickly and can cause bacteria to flourish. You are likely to spend around three hours when thawing the meat this way.
Whether you want to cook fresh or thawed duck, check the meat for feathers and remove them. Also, you need to remove any visible fat, particularly from the cavity. Then, pat the meat dry and prick the skin without piercing the flesh. If you want to roast the meat, leave it whole. If you want to broil or grill it, pick skinless duck breasts.
When roasting a whole duck, remove the skin before you serve it. While you can stuff the bird, any stuffing will absorb a good deal of fat when the bird cooks. That is why you may want to prepare and serve stuffing on the side. To add extra flavour to the meat, put onion halves, lemon or orange quarters, and some celery into the chest cavity.