Color of Duck Meat: Duck meat is considered as “white” meat, even though its meat is considerably darker than other poultry meats such as chicken or turkey. The reason for this is ducks are more active in comparison to chicken therefore they need and use up more oxygen. The extra oxygen in the body of the duck or other types of game bird, gives their meat the darker red color.
Duck Fat: Duck has a thick layer of healthy fats under its skin. Duck fat contains 35.7% saturated fats, 50.5% monounsaturated fats (high in linoleic acid) and 13.7% polyunsaturated fats (which contains Omega-6 and Omega-3 essential oils). Duck and goose fat is more like olive oil than it is like butter or beef.
Nutrient Content of Duck Meat: 1 cup (227g) roasted Duck
- Protein: 26.6g
- Iron: 3.8mg
- Selenium: 28mcg
- Riboflavin: 0.37mg
- Thiamine: 0.24mg
- Carbohydrate: 0.0g
- Total Fat: 39.7g
- Calories: 472
Tips when buying duck meat:
- Fresh duck should be odor-free and have clean skin with no pinfeathers.
- Frozen duck should have a plump breast and wrapped in an airtight package.
- Store in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Frozen duck can be stored in the freezer for three months.
How to Cook Duck: Duck should always be cooked until well done. To test for doneness make sure a fork can be easily inserted, and that when the meat is pricked, juices run clear (not pink).
Availability: Ducks are available frozen or fresh at butcher shops and many markets. Duck can be bought whole or as single breast fillets, called margrets.
Different Kinds of Duck:
- The white Peking duck, often sold under the name Long Island duckling, are the ones most often available in supermarkets today.
- Broiler or fryer ducks are young (under 8 weeks) and tender, roaster duckling (under 16 weeks) is starting to harden, and mature duck has tougher flesh.
- Muscovy is the leaner variety and the meat is darker.
- One disadvantage of buying a duck is that they are essentially smaller in size than a chicken or turkey and so you will end up with less meat. If you are cooking for a large number of people, it may be a better idea to buy two smaller ducks.
- For those who are watching their weight, take note because duck meat has a higher fat content, more calories and has more saturated fat than chicken or turkey meat.