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Considered one of the more exotic and expensive meats, duck is often associated with main dish recipes at five start restaurants and fine chefs. Yet, duck dishes are commonly eaten by many people both simply and complex from the Americans' crispy fried duck legs to the French's duck a l'orange. As one of the few types of meat that can be both hunted and bought from the store easily, duck is perhaps one of the most versatile meats available in terms of sourcing and cooking. If you've come to Yummly in search of a meat to spice up your dinners or impress a group of friends, you've found the right ingredient. With Yummly's vast storage of options, you will be sure to find the best duck recipes that both you and your family or friends will love…

How is duck different than other meats?

You may have heard that duck meat is different than other poultries like chicken or turkey and you heard right. Duck, unlike the other two, is actually a red meat. Due to this difference, it is a juicy meat with a taste more similar to steak than to a white meat bird like chicken. Also, because it is a red meat, you have the option to cook your duck featuring dinner recipes to a lesser heat the same way steak cooked between is rare to well done.

However, it's important to remember that like chicken, duck meat is still a poultry at the end of the day. Just like other poultries, duck can still have bacteria, so be careful when cooking duck meat. Normally, the USDA recommends 165°F internal temperature for all poultry, including duck. However, because duck is not a common carrier of bacteria and its red meat is more akin to steak, Hank Shaw, a world-famous chef, says, “Rare-to-medium is the mantra.” At the end of the day, it's up to how you prefer your delicious duck recipe and what makes you feel the safest.

Holiday Cooking & Engastration of Duck

If you don't think of famous chefs or fancy eateries, chances are you might associate duck with the holidays and that is for good reason. There are many meals that utilize duck as a main dish during both Christmas and the New Years, however, one may be more talked about than all the rest. At least in pop-culture, the Three Bird Roast, otherwise known as the Turducken in America, is one of the most popular dinners during the holidays. This meal has been shown on many TV shows both as a serious dinner and a joke of a creation. However, as a meal, this recipe is part of a larger tradition known engastration, or the putting of one animal into another to eat. It's been done since the at least the middle ages if not earlier. As always, before creating this you will want to gather everything you need including a roasting pan, a duck, a turkey, a chicken and black pepper, sea salt, and all the spices and other ingredients from whichever recipe you choose. Should Turducken not be something you are interested in, there are many other ways to cook duck from grilling duck breast to crafting a duck based dessert!

Grilled Duck Recipes

One of the many ways that duck can be crafted is though grilling. Though most common with the duck breast, you can also cook a whole duck or the wings and legs as you would chicken. Grilling duck is most often done in an American or Asian style with flavors like Hoisin Sause or BBQ duck. After cooking and eating your fill, you can try adding the leftover meat into a stir-fry or on top of a salad recipe for some extra protein and variety. As with cooking any red meat, it's important to make sure when grilling duck that you do not dry out the meat before the inside is done.

Roasted Duck Recipes

One of the most common methods of cooking a duck is through roasting. With a total time over well over an hour just cooking, this meal style is for people with lots of prep time or special occasions though the reward is well worth the effort. Roast duck often has a full and juicy flavor that can be complemented by cooking it with fruits like apples or orange zest. For a complete meal, try pairing it with a good red wine and side dishes like sauteed vegetables and bakes sweet potatoes.

Pan-Seared Duck Recipes

Cooking duck on the stove top though pan-searing is a great way to create an easy recipe that doesn't take a lot of time and still provide filling and tasty results. For the most common meals, you will want to start with a skin on duck breast and make sure to get the oil very hot so that you end up with crispy skin and a crispy duck breast overall. Many times to get the best results, cook the duck skin side first to make sure it gets done and crispy. Don't forget to browse recipes on Yummly to find the best duck option for you!

Duck Dessert Recipes

Before getting into the health of duck, let's talk about something that many people don't think about when cooking meat, especially duck. Though not popular, duck desserts are very tasty and often eaten in five-star eateries in places like New York, California, France and Singapore. Options for duck desert recipes are often rooted in candied duck bacon and include duck bacon based truffles, blondies, and even pecan pies. If you don't want all the extra, candied duck bacon is a dessert all on its own and it's easy to make too!

Health Concerns with Duck

If you looking to eat healthier, you might be wondering if a duck is a great option to replace chicken, turkey, or any other poultry. Duck meat, as mentioned previously, is very flavorful. It's is a great source of protein, niacin, phosphorus, riboflavin, iron, zinc, vitamin B-6 and thiamine. It also has smaller amounts of vitamin B-12, folate, and magnesium making it, in general, a healthy thing to eat. However, duck is relatively high in saturated fat and cholesterol which is especially true if you eat the skin. If you are on a diet that includes limiting of cholesterol or fat, eating duck might not be your best option. If you 're not sure, always check the nutrition facts on the recipe and make sure to drain any excess fat that you encounter when cooking to help create a healthier meal.

Tips and Tricks for Cooking Duck

Duck can be cooking in many ways for anything from breakfast to dinner and dessert outside and inside. You can hunt or buy it and you can use just about every part of the duck in meals like duck confit making it a very sustainable meal as well. With that said, there are a few things that can help you cook your next duck based meal.

When cooking duck though frying or pan-searing, make sure to have paper towels if you are worried about all the oil affecting your body or just prefer a less greasy meal. If you wish to roast, try putting aluminum foil at the bottom of your pan, creating an easier clean and the option to use the juices later for something else if you wish.

Don't forget to check the internal temperature of duck when you cook, though it is a red meat and can be cooked to less than 165F, as with any poultry, this is still the safest option, especially for those with compromised immune systems like children and the elderly. No matter what duck recipe on Yummly you choose, you won't be disappointed.

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