When I tell people we raise and eat duck I sometimes get an odd look. A few have tried duck from restaurants and stores, others from their own hunts. Most seem to have a dislike for duck, others are scared to try it.
I explain to them that Muscovy duck is different from the Pekin duck that is served to them in restaurants or sold in stores. That the meat is red and when cooked properly can taste just like roast beef.
Today I want to settle the matter.
Preparing Muscovy Duck
…If you don’t like semi-gore, skip this section…
Since Muscovy is likely not for sale at your local grocer, it bares mentioning how we butcher the duck. We have tried plucking it, but all we end up with is hours of time lost, frustration, and a spoiled duck.
Instead, we skin and quarter the ducks. For our method, that means 2 halves of the breast and 2 thighs.
The animal is killed, bled and skinned. I then carve out each half of the breast and cut off each thigh. Then, 1 of each is vacuumed sealed and frozen, ready for a meal on any given day.
Alternate Preparation Methods
While we freeze the duck, we have been told that it can be salt packed as well. Apparently this curing method produces a ham-like flavor. We have not tried this yet, but from my experience with the meat, I can see how it would be true.
Cooking Muscovy Duck
We choose to slow cook the duck all day long. We do it for at least 6 hours on the “low” setting on our slow cooker.
Since the meat itself is very low in fat, I would presume it would do well if cooked in a dish, such as a stew, if still given enough time to become tender.
When we slow cook we place the meat in the cooker and add enough water to barely cover the meat. If you cooker is small and the meat goes up the side a little, that is okay. The meat does not need to be covered, but be sure to have about 2 inches of water in the cooker.
If spices are desired, like when we cook Shredded Duck Tacos, they are added now.
Place the cooker on LOW and let it simmer away for 6 hours.
Once fully cooked the meat will shred with the slightest touch and be very, very tender and moist. This can then be added to any dish you would normally use beef in. The flavor, texture and scent are all very similar and indistinguishable to most.
So, now that you are salivating and smelling Duck Tacos, here is the spice mix we use for that recipe:
Duck Taco Spices:
- 1 TB Chili Powder
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
- 1/2 tsp Paprika
- 1/4 tsp Oregano
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
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To see our video on How to Cook Muscovy Duck, click the link or watch below: