How to Cook with Duck

Just because it doesn’t “fly” out at you at the butchers counter, it doesn’t mean we should discount it from our cooking routine at home. As winter approaches, its time to start embracing game and other meats.

We all have those days when we stand at the fridge looking blankly into it wondering what to cook, similarly to our routines of coming home from the grocery store with the same stuff in our bags. It’s time to try something new!

Maple Balsamic Roasted Duck, Spoon Fork Bacon.http://www.spoonforkbacon.com/2013/11/maple-balsamic-roasted-duck/

I wonder why I don’t cook duck more often? I love it and when I see it on a menu at a restaurant I typically order it. Just because it doesn’t “fly” out at you at the butchers counter, it doesn’t mean we should discount it from our cooking routine at home. We all know the saying “good things take time” and yes duck does take a little extra care and research on how to prepare it properly, but it is worth it.

Duck is tender and moist and surprisingly healthier for you than some of our other regular choices.  Its time to change up the night after night of chicken and start adding in a night of duck. Your family will think they are being spoiled and you will have learned something new in the kitchen! It’s a win win in my opinion.  Whatever you do, don’t leave the store without a jar of duck fat. It would be tough to find a professional kitchen that doesn’t use duck fat. It is rich in flavour and has a higher smoking point than butter and most oils. Duck fat is a staple in my kitchen and I use it daily for frying potatoes, sautéing vegetables as well as adding richness to soups or stews. You wont be disappointed with this addition to your kitchen.

Just North of the city in Newmarket is home to King Cole duck farm. It’s leading edge of sustainable farming techniques and hands on approach has led them to be known internationally. The farm itself boasts a huge selection of already prepared duck products. You can get anything from frozen to fresh, duck confit, duck burgers, duck a l’orange, smoked duck breast and duck eggs to name a few products in their line up.

Lets not forget about duck eggs. Because of their size they are packed with more protein and vitamin D than a chicken egg and they have a higher concentration of omega 3. If two chicken eggs are too much for you in the morning then try one duck egg instead.

If you travel further north of the city to Collingwood to the Tremont Café their menu offers delicious duck appetizers as well as specially featured duck entrees. A little further down the road, Northwinds is becoming famous for their french fries deep fried in duck fat. They are a must order on your next trip to Collingwood.

Check out some interesting facts about duck and how to incorporate it in your home.

Crispy Duck Tacos, Nigella Lawson.https://www.nigella.com/recipes/crispy-duck

Health benefits

-Duck fat is healthier than butter. It comes in at 33% saturated fat vs. 62% in clarified butter

-Duck is higher in cholesterol-fighting mono-unsaturated fats. 49% vs. Butter as 29%

-A duck breast without skin has fewer calories than a chicken breast, prime rib, or filet mignon. Not to mention duck breasts are high in protein while lower in saturated fat.

– Most important health benefit of all, it is one of the top 10 food to keep you young.

 

Menu ideas to wow your home crowd or your party crowd

-Smoked duck breast eggs Benedict (simply replace the traditional back bacon with thinly sliced smoked duck breast)

-Duck prosciutto flat bread with figs, arugula and jarlsberg cheese (serve it up as an appetizer at a party)

-Duck confit poutine (I could eat this everyday, and it’s a great dish to get creative with different toppings. Don’t forget to cook the wedge cut fries in duck fat)

-Duck sausage ragu over orecchiette pasta (easy staple but a show stopper with duck sausage)

-Blueberry and port glazed duck breast (make sure you score the fat on the breast before you pan sear. I find it’s best to finish duck breasts in the oven. Don’t forget to turn the exhaust fan on or there will be a high probability of your smoke detector going off.)

 

 

 

Ali Hunter

Ali Hunter

Hi, my name is Ali. I am a trained chef, a skier, a wife, a mom, and now a food blogger! My life takes me back and forth between Collingwood and Muskoka – two perfect places where I have enjoyed the outdoors and the unique offerings of food! I apply three key life rules to my cooking that make my dishes a success: Simplicity, quality and pure satisfaction. I love keeping things simple, I love buying and working with quality ingredients, and I believe these two principles combined should leave you totally satisfied too!

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