How to Prepare a Duck?

Today, duck meat is exclusive to occasions even though it is almost always priced similar to chicken and many people are not familiar with doing this and here we try to help you along the process. The process for butchering a duck is very similar to chicken since both are poultry and have a similar structure.

Let’s begin with preparing your workspace to ensure an easy and fast working. The basic tool will be sharp paring knives, I would emphasize on sharp as a blunt knife would really make it difficult to work and it’s best you sharpen your knives between birds if you have more. I would also consider a pot or large bowl for carcass filled with ice or a refrigerator for chilling the carcass if you live in a hot humid country.

Skinning

The first step would be skinning or sometimes plucking if you have the feathers on. Plucking your duck is a little for tricky than chicken, the best option, if you choose to keep the skin, would be to dunk your duck into a scalding boiling water to make it easier to pluck the feather. You could also choose to deskin the duck with or without the feather, however deskinning your duck meat will leave with no fat on the carcass to keep the meat juicy when you cook it. Leaving the skin on also gives you the option of saving the duck fat for rendering. Depending on your taste and recipe this is an optional step.

To skin your bird, start at the neck and slip the knife under the skin where you removed the head. Lift the skin and slice through it along the belly, working your way toward the tail end. Pull the skin back and use the knife to separate the skin from the meat as you work your way around the whole bird. Remove the end of the wings rather than mess around with trying to pull the feathers out.

Disemboweling

Once your carcass is all cleaned out in the outside, make a careful incision into the vent and try not to puncture the intestines. The next step pinch the vent shut with our fingers and pull the intestines out and away from the carcass to prevent spilling the contents on the meat. Remove the green looking bag of bile and retain only the heart, gizzard and liver. Remember to cut open the gizzard and clean the yellow lining within. Wash the carcass well.

Remove the feet and neck.

The best parts of a duck are it’s breasts and thighs, remove the neck and feet by cutting through the ligaments that hold the bones. Now carefully slice through the back and thighs to extract the best parts of the meat.

Wash and store well

Wash and rinse the pieces well individually. If you plan to cook your duck rather than preserve it, let it sit in the refrigerator for 24 hours so the muscle tissue will be tender. Cooking the same day will make the bird tough. If you are freezing your ducks, you can wrap them and freeze immediately.  If you still need help cooking, check this duck breast recipe.