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DUCK MEAT: A FAVORITE RED MEAT ALTERNATIVE

Is duck meat healthy?

How do I cook duck?

Where can I even find it?

There are plenty of questions surrounding duck, and that’s not surprising. Although it is popular in many countries around the world, duck is rarely if ever on the plate of the average American. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Duck meat is one of very few proteins that combines many of the health benefits of poultry and a flavor similar to steak. Whether you want to cut calories or simply put something on the table that isn’t the same old, same old, duck is a perfect choice.

Keep reading to learn why duck meat is quickly becoming a favorite red meat alternative.

What Is Special About Duck Meat?

Duck is a healthy, flavorful, and versatile meat. There are many different reasons why you’ll fall in love.

Types Of Duck Meat

Duck meat comes in plenty of different cuts and sizes. Whether you need to feed the extended family or simply need an easy meal for your busy life, there’s an option for you:

Whole Duck

When you start with a whole duck, which serves approximately two to four people, there’s plenty of room for creativity. Enjoy experimenting. In particular, chefs love the opportunity to use each and every part of the bird. You’ll also appreciate the variety of options:

Preparing whole duck

Half Duck

Our Roasted Half Duck comes fully cooked, making meal prep effortless. It’s a great option to enjoy alone or with one other person. The shelf life is 45 days in your refrigerator and two years in the freezer.

Duck Breast

If you love steak, our duck breast should jump to the top of your shopping list. It makes the perfect main course and you can cook it to a medium level to really savor that red meat flavor. For a lower calorie option, try our skinless duck breast.

Duck Legs

Due to higher fat content, duck legs are the most flavorful part of the bird. Its versatility makes it a great addition to any recipe. Along with traditional legs, you can enjoy All Natural Duck Leg Confit or All Natural Pulled Duck Leg Meat.

Health Benefits of Duck Meat

Duck isn’t just delicious. It also offers a variety of different health benefits that you won’t necessarily get with the other proteins that are currently in your refrigerator.

Fewer Calories

Duck meat is often lower in calories than a variety of other proteins, including chicken, turkey, beef, and pork. For example, one serving (4 ounces) of our All Natural Boneless Duck Breast is only 180 calories, while still packing 16 grams of protein.

Better Fat

Duck meat is both low in fat and high in healthy fats. Similar to olive oil, it’s full of monounsaturated fats, which can help lower your LDL cholesterol. To get even healthier, properly cooking duck eliminates 70% of the fat.

Essential Nutrients

White Pekin Duck is a great source of many important nutrients, including iron, niacin, vitamin E, and selenium. When paired together, vitamin E and selenium protect cells from damage that have the potential to lead to cancer, heart disease, and other heart problems.

These are just a few in a long list of health benefits. For a deeper dive, check out this recent blog post.

Maple leaf farms pulled duck and membrillo croquettes
Duck fat roasted potatoes
Nashville hot duck
Ground Duck Comparision Chart
The Taste Of Duck Meat

What does duck taste like? Is it gamey? For those who have never had it, those are great questions. While you may expect something similar to chicken or turkey, the rich flavor surprises many people.

Although technically poultry, duck is considered red meat because of its color and taste. It’s more like steak than chicken. This is because, like beef, duck is high in iron and other essential nutrients. That’s why duck is the best of both worlds. It offers both the taste of red meat and the nutrition of poultry.

Duck Breeds

A variety of different duck breeds could end up on your plate. But by far, the most common is White Pekin, which accounts for 95% of all duck consumption in the United States.

Mallards are popular with hunters, but are often greasy and gamey. Both Muscovy ducks and Moulards are higher in fat compared to White Pekins. These two breeds are also often selected for their liver, which is used for foie gras.

So, why White Pekin?

This breed is known for being tender, mild, and not gamey. With such an adaptive flavor, it makes a great addition to numerous recipes. It is also lower in fat and higher in protein compared to other ducks.

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Maple Leaf Farms Ducks

Not all ducks are the same.

Here at Maple Leaf farms,our process starts as soon as the eggs are laid. They’re brought to our hatchery and then safely incubated. Care is paired with advanced technology to ensure each egg receives the attention it deserves. To learn more about this process, watch our hatchery tour video.

After hatching, the ducklings are transported to one of our family farms spread across Northern Indiana. Here, they get access to everything they need. Fresh water. Food. Climate-controlled barns. Instead of being packed into tight places, these ducks are free to roam in cage-free environments. They’re also never given growth hormones or antibiotics for growth purposes.

When it comes time for harvesting, our ducks are processed humanely according to the standards of the USDA. From there, the duck meat is packaged and sent to our distribution center. The next stop is a local retail store or your own doorstep.

It’s this process that lets you enjoy a true farm to fork meal.

Is Duck Meat A Good Alternative?

The word is starting to get out.

Duck meat is an excellent alternative for many popular proteins. Here’s how it compares:

Duck Meat Vs. Chicken

Chicken might be the most common poultry choice, but that doesn’t make it the best.

While offering a richer flavor than chicken, duck meat is also the healthier option in many different ways. It is higher in iron and lower in fat than most poultry. It can also be a lower-calorie option. When comparing skinless breasts per serving, our skinless duck breast has roughly one-third fewer calories than chicken breast.

So why stick with the same old chicken recipes? Swap in duck to create a new family favorite.

Duck Meat Vs. Turkey

Turkey is often thought of as dry and somewhat bland. By contrast, duck offers a richer, more savory flavor. There are also health benefits. Duck gives you more iron and our skinless duck breast has less calories compared to the average turkey breast.

Duck can also spice up your next Thanksgiving meal. Here are step-by-step instructions for deep frying a whole duck.

Duck breast protein comparison chart

Duck Meat Vs. Lamb

Lamb is considered by many to have a strong, gamey taste. This can make it difficult to cook with because the flavor tends to overpower everything else on the plate. Duck, on the other hand, is more mild. When comparing the two, lamb is often higher in both fat and calories than most cuts of duck.

Duck Meat Vs. Red Meat

Is duck a red meat or a white meat? In a way, it’s both.

As a bird, ducks are part of the poultry family. However, the meat’s dark color makes it look more like beef than chicken. By culinary standards, duck is a red meat. This deep maroon color comes from the high amount of iron.

But the differences between duck and other proteins don’t stop with your eyes. After taking your first bite of well-prepared duck, you’ll swear you’re eating red meat. That’s because the flavor of duck is more similar to steak than it is to chicken.

This is music to the years of countless people who love red meat, but want to live a healthier life. This combination of poultry nutrition and rich flavor makes duck the perfect red meat alternative. If your favorite meals are counterproductive to your health goals, consider buying duck instead of beef.

Who Is Duck Meat For?

Duck meat isn’t just for high-end restaurants and the best at-home chefs. It’s a great option for cooks of all skill levels as well as the perfect addition to retailers who are bored with having the same old items filling their shelves.

Where to buy duck
MLF Icons Audience Pages Culinary Prof
Culinary Professionals

Duck meat is delicious, unique, and a healthy alternative compared to other proteins. But for some reason, it’s still absent from many menus across the country. You can change that. Whether you manage a scratch kitchen or one with plates quickly moving out the door, duck meat is a meal option you must try.

Learn How Culinary Professionals Are Using Duck on Their Menus

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Store Retailers

As a retailer, you already face enough obstacles. Instead of more unknowns, you need a reliable partner. Along with short lead times and direct shipping options, Maple Leaf Farms offers data-driven solutions. We can help determine which products are right for you by analyzing local store market data and Nielson data.

Learn More About Duck Impacting the Retail Space

MLF Icons Audience Pages Distributors
Food Distributors

You don’t need to feel alone. We are here to help you both online and in person. Our sales team can help with product presentations, demos, training, and so much more. After creating your account, you’ll also get access to training and sales materials. Let us equip you to succeed.

Learn More about Duck Food Distributors

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Home Chefs

You, yes you, can cook duck. In addition to offering a full line of duck meat products, we give you access to all the resources you need. Recipes. How-videos. Expert tips. You’ll cook with confidence in no time. Duck meat also helps you break out of the rut of normal proteins you serve your family over and over again. So try something new. Your taste buds will thank you.

Learn How Duck is Inspiring Home Chefs

How Do I Cook Duck Meat?

Does the idea of cooking duck intimidate you?

It shouldn’t. Duck is not much different than any other meat. It only seems especially difficult because it’s less familiar than other proteins. If you can cook chicken and steak, you can cook duck. At Maple Leaf Farms, you’ll find plenty of duck products that match both your taste buds and your cooking ability.

For those who want to learn from the best, we offer expert tips from top chefs. Follow these simple “quack hacks” to cook anything from a whole duck to duck breast.

If you’re more of a visual learner, you can browse our library of instructional videos. These step-by-step instructions will help you create a delicious meal in no time.

Cooking duck breast
Duck Recipes

With hundreds of recipes to browse ranging from easy to difficult, there are bound to be many the whole family will love. Part of the fun is simply clicking around to discover the versatility. You can turn duck meat into soups, salads, and even desserts.

To help you get started, here are a few of our favorite recipes:

You can also take your taste buds on a vacation by experimenting with recipes from around the world. Simply filter by geographic region.

Side Dishes & Appetizers

Duck meat doesn’t always need to be the star of the show. You can find a variety of delicious side dishes and appetizers that can be an easy snack or a welcome addition to any meal.

Fully Cooked

If you want all the great flavor and health benefits of duck meat without any of the cooking, we offer a number of options that arrive you to full cooked:

Where Can I Buy Duck Meat?

Finding delicious duck meat isn’t difficult. There’s no need to jump through hoops or track down obscure specialty stores. To get ducks from our farms to your table, there are two simple ways:

Find A Store

Does your local grocery store carry Maple Leaf Farms duck products? There’s an easy way to find out. Choose the product or products and then enter your location.

Shop Online

If you’d rather have your next meal shipped directly to you, browse our online store. You’ll find a variety of products that will quickly become favorites in your house.