How to Cook Duck: 5 Basic Tips on How to Cook Signature Duck Dishes

How to Cook Duck: 5 Basic Tips on How to Cook Signature Duck Dishes
How to Cook Duck - Photo by vincelaconte from Flickr
SHARE - Is it your first time to cook duck? Duck is comprised of all dark meat, including the breasts, which is quite different to chicken or turkey. While it may come across as a little intimidating, duck is actually very forgiving in the kitchen. 

Duck doesn’t carry salmonella, so you can cook it safely to a lower temperature. Sear a duck breast to medium-rare and you’ll find it’s similar to steak in looks and flavor. Also, it cooks just quickly which saves you time!

If you’re interested in learning how to cook duck for its particular richness that you might not find in any other poultry, then you’ve come to the right place! Tripboba has got you covered with 5 basic tips on how to cook duck, so keep reading and make amazing duck recipes on your own!

How to cook a duck

How long to cook duck?

How to Cook Duck - Photo by Weichao zhao from Flickr

Depending on the method you choose to cook your duck, the time needed varies greatly. Searing a duck breast to medium-rare likely takes you a short amount of time, but when it comes to traditional preparation (as in Peking duck), it can take up to 2 days to prepare the duck!

Here are the approximate cooking times of a whole duck based on size:

How to Cook Duck - Photo by

How to cook duck breast

How to Cook Duck - Photo by Lucas Richarz from Flickr

Now let’s learn some tips on how to cook duck breast! Cooking duck will require you to get rid of a layer of fat beneath the skin, and you can do so by slicing through the skin in a crosshatch pattern. “Scoring” the skin are meant to render the fat faster. You’ll also find some instructions that require you to pierce the skin with a fork before cooking in order to drain the fat.

If you want to get that perfect crispy skin, place duck breast in a cool pan skin side down and turn the heat to medium low for 10 minutes to start rendering the fat. Score the skin by cutting it into 1/4 inch intervals in a crisscross pattern on the duck breast. It’s recommended to make 21 cuts across the average breast.

Finish duck breast on the grill for a faster finish with less flare ups. You can save the duck fat to roast vegetables or add to mashed potatoes! If you remove the skin, you can use it to make a delicious duck cracklings side.

How to cook a whole duck

How to Cook Duck - Photo by Maureen Ow from Flickr

To learn how to cook duck as a whole, you can start with carving the duck wings first then the legs next and the breast last. Cut the raw duck from the legs then cutting off the breast. 

Want that extra crispy skin for your whole duck? Then rub the skin of the raw duck with paprika before cooking. Put the duck under the broiler for the last few minutes of cooking. Don’t forget to watch it closely so it does not burn/char.

Cooking a whole duck can take a lot of time, so if you want a faster cooking, butterfly a whole duck on the grill or in the oven. Butterfly is a term used to describe a piece of fish or cut of meat that has been cut open with the sides spread apart resembling butterfly wings, such as butterfly pork chops.

How to cook duck confit

How to Cook Duck - Photo by Lucas Richarz from Flickr

If you’re looking for some recipe on how to cook duck legs, you can count on confit. In French, confit literally means to preserve. It’s a technique traditionally used to preserve meats by cooking them in their own fat.

Make your own confit by slowly cooking the duck legs together with the fat in the crock pot or low and slow in the oven. Use a whole duck and cut into 4 pieces.

How to cook duck eggs

How to Cook Duck - Photo by Mr Utterly Wrong from Flickr

Aside from its meat, we can also cook duck eggs. You can use a duck's egg much as you would a hen's egg; fry it, poach it, boil it or scramble it, you choose. There is more yolk to egg white in a duck's egg than the familiar chicken's egg; also, you’d find that the color of a duck egg's yolk takes on a richer, reddish-orange hue when cooked which makes it all the more attractive on the plate!

Meanwhile, the whites contain lots of protein and can get rubbery if overcooked, so you’d want to treat them carefully if frying or scrambling. Duck eggs are also popular amongst Asian cuisine; the eggs are usually preserved by soaking them in brine, or packing each egg in damp, salted charcoal, making it into delicious salted duck eggs.


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