J1
Duck - amount of meat
September 20, 2016 04:43AM
I cooked a whole duck for the first time recently (no duck shooters in my family...). I was surprised at how little meat there is on a duck. I wondered if wild chickens would be similar or whether chickens are just meatier than ducks anyway...and whether there are any fat ducks out there...etc...?????
Re: Duck - amount of meat
September 20, 2016 05:04AM
When we buy a bbq farmed duck we would expect to get enough meat for 4 people from one duck and only just.
Farmed would be meatier and fatter I imagine.
Re: Duck - amount of meat
September 20, 2016 05:36AM
Home raised chickens will generally have less meat on them than supermarket chickens.. this is because people at home don't usually raise the specific breed (Cobb) that is used in NZ for commercial meat production. There are some breeds that are better table birds than others, but on the whole there will be less meat than a Tegel sz14.

I don't have access to duck, so can't comment on the relative meatiness compared to chickens.
Re: Duck - amount of meat
September 20, 2016 05:45AM
Ducks are aquatic so they have large porous bones (for flotation) and a lot of fat ( for insulation). There will always be more meat on a chicken of similar size.. The trade-off for me is that duck has so much more character, and the fat has many delicious uses.
Re: Duck - amount of meat
September 20, 2016 06:19AM
The first time I purchased a frozen duck I was surprised to read it would be enough for two people. There was some, although not a lot left, mainly because I don't eat as much meat as my husband.
Duck is one of my favourite dishes to order when dining out, usually it is classed as half a duck. It is usually far too much so quite a lot of it is shared.
Re: Duck - amount of meat
September 20, 2016 06:32AM
We have eaten wild duck for years, our duck-shooting next-door-neighbour being the very generous donor. Duck breeds can differ in size. I think the Paradise duck is larger than the mallard, with the males being larger than the females and males being prettier than the females (wouldn't you know it!!) For us, one duck feeds two people, but I always cook two ducks at a time. I would think also that food source and abundance of food would dictate how fat they are. Years ago, a huge neighbouring farm holding was entirely planted in maize as a commercial crop. Unfortunately harvesting began too late and the majority of the crops were left unharvested because the ground became too boggy for the huge maize harvesters to continue on. It became a 'Ducks Paradise' and as you can imagine the air was thick with ducks and quacking for months and months to follow as it seemed every duck in the north island came to stay to cash in on their new found bounty. Swans also. When the duck shooting season opened at the time, it became 'Duck Shooters Paradise' and I can say it was easy for shooters to get their daily bag limit as ducks were abundant and really fat, healthy, and made beautiful eating.

Once upon a time we used to shoot wild turkeys on our farm at Christmas time and they were beautiful, fat and juicy because at night they would roost in the rafters of our wintering barns after they'd had a great feed of the leftovers of the beautiful meal we fed to our cows every day which was laden with dried maize, other seeds and goodies. That really fattened them up. We still have wild turkeys roaming the farm and eating the grass (as we do wild ducks), but because we no longer feed meal to cows, the fattening source is not available to the turkeys any more, so we no longer shoot them for Christmas dinner.
Regards,
Dawn.
J1
Re: Duck - amount of meat
September 20, 2016 07:34AM
That's all very interesting, thanks for your comments. I had no idea until I cooked my one that duck was really only enough for two people. I often order it at restaurants too and can now appreciate the price of it, given that the leg they often give you is pretty much half of what they can get off a duck!
Re: Duck - amount of meat
September 20, 2016 08:04AM
J1 my although my story is about wild ducks, I've never cooked a commercially grown one, but have looked (longingly) at them in the supermarkets. I would have thought a commercially grown duck would easily feed at least 3 people, just judging by the size compared to one wild duck for two people. Maybe commercially grown ducks are not as large as I think.
Regards,
Dawn.
Re: Duck - amount of meat
September 20, 2016 08:08AM
Another thought - if you are buying duck look for the Saveur brand as they seem to have more breast meat and more fat on them. Next choice for me is Gameford Lodge, and last choice is the frozen ducks sold in Chinese food markets, which are usually pretty skinny.
Re: Duck - amount of meat
September 20, 2016 08:27AM
I hang my head in shame. I've never eaten duck. Have seen them of course on the menu in restaurants but I have never been brave enough to try it. I read they are fatty and I so dislike fat. Perhaps I've missed something all these years.
J1
Re: Duck - amount of meat
September 20, 2016 09:27AM
I wouldn't regard duck as fatty Chris, and especially so if you don't eat the skin. I'd recommend giving it a try (although maybe don't start with confit duck...). I think, if anything, it's a little bit like eating marinated pulled pork...(?)

I'm pretty certain the one I bought was Gameford Lodge. With my other half being a serious carnivore, he could have eaten the whole thing easily on his own...in fact he did, apart from one leg for moi grinning smiley
Re: Duck - amount of meat
September 20, 2016 11:20AM
I was reading yesterday about the welfare concerns about farmed ducks. As TPANDAV points out ducks are aquatic, and there is no way that farmers are providing access to bodies of water, so they are unable to keep themselves clean properly. Essentially they are farmed in the same manner as chickens, and come with the same concerns. They are also selectively bred to have larger breasts and have difficulty standing and moving. I've never really eaten duck, but tried it recently and thought I might eat it again, but having read this article I think I'll give farmed duck a miss.
J1
Re: Duck - amount of meat
September 20, 2016 12:54PM
Good point Griz. This is the first farmed duck I've bought and I won't be buying another (it came with the head still on which made me feel extra sorry for it, especially as we have wild ducks camping out on our lawn every day of the year, most with part legs missing from eel bites or accidents). I hadn't given much thought to how the duck was brought up - a search of the internet has shown me one duck farm advertising itself [www.ruraldelivery.net.nz] and a duck welfare website [safe.org.nz].

Further regarding animal welfare, I'm reading a book about fishes at the moment - What A Fish Knows - The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins by Jonathan Balcombe [www.amazon.co.uk] which I know will only reinforce my already deeply felt reservations about keeping and killing creatures in the manner we do (and fishes in particularly heartless ways).

I think certain sections of world society are making progress in better understanding and treatment of our fellow animals but our sheer population size continues to cause issues. It is, at times, a vicious world out there, with cats torturing mice and birds, rats and possums preying on birds' eggs without a moral care, lions grabbing baby gazelles that stray a little too far from the herd, leopard seals plundering penguins ("leopard seals catch penguins by their feet and then beat them back and forth on the surface of the water to skin them" ) and my visiting little shag taking a bite out of every goldfish it hunts in the pond and throwing them out on the lawn just for the sheer fun of it. But I think we cannot live at ease with ourselves the more our awareness grows and this is key to a better path and we have to hope that the world as a whole comes along on the journey. T S Eliot once said
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Re: Duck - amount of meat
September 22, 2016 12:17AM
I experienced the same thing and thought a whole duck served 2 at ta stretch.
I purchased just the duck meat, deboned which is great but expensive.
I guess restaurants are buying in bulk (Asian) to bring the price down.
Peking duck is a great experience and quite reasonable if anyone is a wanting a duck experience out and about.
Vanessa
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