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Daunted by Duck? Here's Where to Start

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Duck feels so fancy to me. Maybe that’s because I’m 23 and the thought of eating a bird that isn’t chicken makes me feel like Henry XIII seated at a 40-foot oak table drinking from a chalice. But maybe it doesn’t have to be that way. Right? Right.

Enter the Food52 recipe search bar. I work here, so, naturally, I spend a lot of time on our site, wandering through that portal. Have you met it? It’s lovely. Recently, I perused the site for duck because I wanted to fact-check my fear. Did duck really have to be so daunting? No, it didn’t. Here’s what I found.

Melissa Clark's Really Easy Duck Confit

Melissa Clark's Really Easy Duck Confit by Genius Recipes

Maple Lacquered Duck Breast

Maple Lacquered Duck Breast by aargersi

I started with this Melissa Clark recipe because it had the words "really easy" in the title. The hardest thing it asks for is flipping a duck leg in a hot pan, which I’m pretty sure I could do. I’d just need to remember to cure the gams 24 hours in advance. Then there's also this crispy-skinned, maple-lacquered I'm confident I could conquer. It's all about that sear and step-back mode of cooking. A sweet and sticky glaze brings it all together.

Kaoya Luobo Tang (Roast Duck Soup with Radishes)
Kaoya Luobo Tang (Roast Duck Soup with Radishes)

This preparation told me I could just grab a roasted duck from a Chinese deli. Hey, I can do that! Once purchased, it’s just a matter of shredding the dark meat and folding it into a rich broth with noodles. Don’t mind if I do.

Roast Duck Breast with Green Peppercorns & Tiny Roast Potatoes
Roast Duck Breast with Green Peppercorns & Tiny Roast Potatoes

A slow and simple pan roast bring this peppery, decadent duck breast to life. Plus with the help of some spices—and a few yummy blanched potatoes—I’d definitely get me a dinner.

Smoked Tea Duck Noodles
Smoked Tea Duck Noodles

Hmm, this one leans more on the involved side. Nonetheless, most of the labor just comes from assembling a brine for the duck legs to sit in overnight. With a little foresight, I could see myself pulling this one together.

Duck Meatballs à L’Orange
Duck Meatballs à L’Orange

Meatballs! Now, there’s a familiar face. Chopped duck meet spices and breadcrumbs and a new shape. Top it all off with a lovely orangey sauce.

Slow Roast Duck

Slow Roast Duck by Merrill Stubbs

Duck à l'Orange

Duck à l'Orange by Cara Nicoletti

And for the ambitious among us, there’s always the prospect of a whole roasted duck. Feed a few with either of these preparations. One skews simple, the other opts instead for a bright and zippy citrus topping. But hey! Look here! We have an article that simplifies the more complicated recipe:

Duck à l'Orange? Pas De Problème!
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Duck à l'Orange? Pas De Problème!

How do you prefer your duck? Share your recipes in the comments below.

Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: Dinner, Dinner, Faster