Buying and Cooking Duck

Duck is known for its distinctive, earthy flavor and dark, moist meat. Get all the secrets for how to buy and cook duck, plus a few of our favorite duck recipes.

How to Buy Duck

Most of the ducks sold in the supermarket are commercially raised and are between 3 and 6 pounds. Duck is available fresh and frozen, whole, or in packages of breasts only. When purchasing a duck, remember that the darker the flesh, the older the duck. Look for USDA Grade A duck with a plump, firm breast.

How to Cook Duck

When cooking duck, remember that domestic duck is fattier than its wild cousin and most other types of poultry. It has a thick layer of fat under the skin, which makes the meat incredibly moist. Be sure to prick the skin before you roast or grill a duck to allow the fat to escape. If you're cooking duck breast, score the duck in a diamond pattern before seasoning, then cook with the skin side down. Cook until the skin is browned and crisp before turning. A 4- to 6-pound duck should be roasted at 350 degrees F for about 1-3/4 to 2-1/2 hours. You can also broil a 6- to 8-ounce duck breast, with the skin removed, for 15 to 18 minutes.

Delectable Duck Recipes

Put your new skills to the test with some of our favorite duck recipes—plus a delicious duck sauce you can pair with other entrees (try it on chicken or pasta!).

Duck Breast with Maple and Plums

Duck Sauce Recipe

Roast Duckling with Raspberry Sauce

Roast Duck with Wild Mushroom Sauce

Chicken and Duck Hunter Stew

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