You may not see duck as food very often in American kitchens, but duck is now quickly gaining love from diners, leading to a 35 percent increase in consumption in only five years. With flavorful and tasty meat, ducks should be the meat that every home cook should try at least one time in one’s life.
Some people might think duck is as lean as other poultry meat. As duck is another bird type, does duck taste like chicken? What does duck taste like? All of your questions will be answered thoroughly in my post below!
What Are Types Of Duck?
With different breeds, duck’s flavor can infuse a range of flavors. But is duck gamey? or is duck good? Before getting to the details, let’s take a quick look at the most common types of duck in our cuisine first.
The most popular type of duck in the market is Long Island duck (also known as Pekin duck). It has a mild and meaty flavor that is perfect for roasting dishes. As it is mostly served skinless, Pekin duck can be a great low-calorie and fat choice for those on a healthy diet.
Another popular duck type, especially in Europe, is called Muscovy duck. Its meat is deep red with a thin skin texture and low-fat content. Compared to Pekin duck, Muscovy duck has a generally larger carcass and rich Muscovy duck taste, which is ideal for making broths and stews. Thus, the price of Muscovy duck is also higher than a regular duck.
Lastly, Moulard duck is not as popular as other duck types in the local market, but it is as tasty as any other kind. This duck offers dark red meat with a higher fat content ratio that you can use for many cooking purposes.
What Does Duck Taste Like?
Although ducks and chickens are both bird species, many people find duck meat taste to be stronger instead of mild and bland like chicken. It is closer to red meat than poultry. When cooked properly, the gamey meat becomes exceptionally moist and tender with a good mix of fat which is the store of flavorful and distinctive taste of ducks.
Duck flavor is so much different from chicken and turkey due to their water habitat. As they need a moderate amount of fat for their body insulation in water, the meat content is much lesser.
Thus, duck meat can give you a mouthful tasting experience by combining both the thick skin and tender muscles. Moreover, ducks are certainly a versatile piece of work that you can utilize many parts of their body for cooking. So, if you wonder, “How does duck taste?” Let’s find out the duck texture and taste in the detailed description below.
1. What Does Duck Meat Taste Like?
At first sight, you might find it looks different from most poultry like turkey or chicken. The meat is not pink but dark red with many fat contents. The muscles are tightly connected, making a firm, smooth consistency. You can find leaner and stronger muscles in wild duck meat as they are more active with various foods in their diet.
They can also utilize their wings greatly, which is beneficial in great fights. On the contrary, the farmed duck has inconsistent meat with a higher fat ratio due to their strict environment. Therefore, when choosing between these meat types, don’t hesitate to choose the wild ones.
Whether you’re cooking wild or farmed ones, the taste of their dark meat is not so different. In one bite, you can find a gamey and strong flavor with a sweet yet umami and savory note that almost tastes like a steak or liver. As they have firm meat, it is best for roasting or slow cooking methods so their meat can be juicy and tender to the bone.
2. What Does Duck Fat Taste Like?
Duck fat is an essential part of cooking ducks that you should learn to utilize in your cooking. With 70 grams of ducks, you can have around 14 grams of fat. Duck fat taste is versatile and can blend into your broth or soups with a sweet and gamey flavor.
If you’re not a fan of fatty meat, you can remove those fats and render them into a fat liquid. This can be used as a flavorful cooking base for many other roasted and frying dishes. My favorite thing to use duck fat is rendering them with the duck skin to make a crispy quackling dish.
3. What Does Duck Confit Taste Like?
Duck confit is derived from the French word ‘confire,’ which means ‘preserve.’ This can tell you a little bit about how the duck is cooked in this method. In duck confit, people cure the duck with salt and render its fat to cook the duck meat after that. This results in a rich, salty, mellow, and tender meat that you can’t ever achieve with regular cooking oils.
Before, the duck confit dish uses the whole body for cooking. Nowadays, many restaurants tend to serve only the legs, which is the hardest part of this method. This is because some parts like the duck breast can get dry when cooking for a long time.
4. What Does Roast Duck Taste Like?
A great way to enjoy the flavorful dark meat of ducks is through roasting. One of the famous roasted duck ceremonial dishes is called Challandais. It is an amazing start for those who want to know the amazing flavor of duck meat. The whole duck is rubbed with various spices like shrimp paste, coconut bark, ginger, turmeric, and seasoning to achieve a strong meaty richness with a natural juicy and sweet taste coming from the dark and tender meat.
5. What Does Peking Duck Taste Like?
Don’t think Peking duck with Pekin duck is the same thing, or else you might have missed one of the most amazing tasting experiences. Peking duck is not a type of duck, as I mentioned earlier, but it is an exotic roasted duck dish from China. This long-lasting dish is a must-have when you visit Chinese restaurants in Beijing.
The Peking duck is enriched with a beautiful brown color coating. Inside, the dark meat is sliced into medium pieces with an extra tender texture and rich meaty flavor. The skin of the duck is extraordinarily crispy and can be served with a sweet and salty duck sauce.
Different Ways To Cook Duck
Duck is nutritious and delicious meat with various ways to enjoy the taste of duck. Let’s find out some common cooking methods that are excellent for this gamey meat.
The best way to cook ducks is using the French method called duck confit. It is an old traditional way of preserving the rich taste of the meat as well as extending the shelf life of the dish. To make duck confit, you need to remove and melt the layer of fat into liquid. Then, add the seasoned duck pieces to a baking dish and coat them with the fat liquid. Once it is well coated, you can put it in the oven.
The searing method is a popular way to cook duck if you want to keep it simple. Season with salt, pepper, olive oil, and pan sear the thick breast meat; you can have yourself a rich and flavorful duck recipe for a full dinner.
Ducks have a balanced ratio of lean meat and fat due to their natural habit as water birds to keep them warm when diving in the cold water. That’s why duck may not have a similar taste to other poultry meat. Now that you have your answer to your question, “What does duck taste like?” It’s time to get into the kitchen with some duck experiments!