Duck breast has got to be the most delicious and juiciest part of the duck.
It’s darker than other poultry meat, so it’s a little richer and more flavorful than chicken breast, but not as gamey as some other dark meats.
So, what does duck breast taste like? Is it tastier than other meats? Is it healthier? Or, how do we actually cook duck breast?
If you’re looking for answers, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
Read on to learn more about this prized meat and how you can cook it to perfection.
What is Duck Breast?
Duck breast simply means the breast of a duck.
It’s a poultry dish popular in many parts of the world, especially in Asian cuisine.
Also known as agret, the duck breast is a lean, boneless cut of meat taken from the animal’s chest area.
The duck breast is rich in flavor and nutrients, making it a popular choice for many home cooks and chefs.
When cooked properly, the duck breast can be a juicy and delicious addition to any meal.
Plus, it also cooks up very much like a steak.
Whenever there is a discussion on duck breast or duck meat, for that matter, people often question whether it’s white or red meat.
Well, scientifically, duck meat is considered white meat since it contains low myoglobin levels, just like other poultry meat, compared to red meat.
However, in culinary use, it’s classified as red meat as the meat remains dark-colored when cooked.
What Does Duck Breast Taste Like?
If you’ve never tasted duck breast before, you sure are missing out on a lot.
Of course, it’s nothing like your everyday chicken, but duck breast is definitely a unique and delectable experience.
In fact, it’s even considered a delicacy in several cuisines.
So, what does it actually taste like? Well, duck breast is generally a bit fattier than chicken breast; however, this also means that it’s juicier and has more flavor.
Plus, the skin of duck breast is fattier, thicker, and usually quite crisp (depending on how you cook it), making it a great addition to any dish.
In terms of actual taste, duck breast has been described as similar to both chicken and beef.
Perhaps it’s right in the middle. It’s a bit heartier than chicken but not as heavy as beef.
The flavor is also quite unique and can be described as earthy with a hint of gaminess.
Some people who have tasted duck breast before also compare its taste to that of steak or liver.
The flavor of duck breast may also slightly vary depending on its kind.
For example, Pekin ducks tend to have lighter meat and milder flavor, while Muscovy duck breast is usually thin-skinned, less fatty, and mildly gamey.
There’s also the Moulard duck – a cross between a Pekin and Muscovy duck, which has a hefty breast that tastes closest to a steak.
This variety is also prized for making foie gras.
Similar to chicken, duck breast is also a rich source of protein.
Additionally, it’s also packed with iron.
In fact, duck meat provides about 50% of our daily iron requirement.
Not to mention, it is also a good source of B vitamins.
How to Cook and Serve Duck Breast?
Now that you know what duck breast is and what it tastes like, all there’s left to do is learn how to cook it.
Fortunately, cooking duck breast is not as difficult as it may seem.
In fact, it’s actually quite simple and only requires a few basic ingredients and methods.
Here are some tips on how you can cook duck breast to perfection:
- Start by seasoning the duck breast with salt, pepper, and other spices or herbs. Some good options are sage, thyme, rosemary, or even Chinese five-spice powder.
- Traditionally, duck breast is cooked with the skin on. This helps render the fat and keeps the meat moist and juicy.
- To cook, start by heating a large skillet over medium heat. Then, place the duck breast in the skillet, skin-side down. Allow the duck to cook for about 5 minutes or until the skin is crisp and golden brown.
- Once the skin is crispy, flip the duck breast over and cook for another 10-15 minutes on low flame, or until it reaches the desired level of doneness.
If you want to achieve crisp skin, it’s best to score the skin with a sharp knife before cooking.
This will help render out some of the fat and ensure the skin is nice and crisp when served.
Here are some ideas to serve your duck breast:
- With a simple salad of greens and roasted vegetables.
- Sliced over a bed of rice or noodles.
- As part of a protein-packed wrap or sandwich.
- In a hearty soup or stew.
- Shredded and used as a filling for tacos or burritos.
Despite chicken’s popularity, did you know that duck meat is actually the third most commonly produced poultry worldwide? No wonder why so many people love this not-so-white meat.
And we guess you will too.
So, the next time you head to your local deli counter, remember to ask for some duck breast meat.
Who knows, it might just become your new favorite.