I want to ask why a pack of two good-sized duck breasts costs the same as buying a whole duck.
I’ve done some research in North London supermarkets and on various online grocery sites and for a pair of duck breasts, you can pay approximately £8.50 while a whole duck will only cost about 50 pence more!
Now I know we all lead busy lives and for convenience, it is quicker and easier to buy ready-to-cook portions of duck. But you can save yourself a lot of money by buying a whole duck and butchering or breaking it down yourself.
What Do You Need?
It’s not difficult and you don’t need any special tools, just a sharp knife.
If you would like to make stock from the carcass then you will need a pair of kitchen scissors and/or a meat cleaver.
What Will I Get?
From a whole duck you will get:
- 2 breasts and tenders, usually larger than the ones sold separately
- 2 legs
- 2 wings
If you use the carcass you will get:
- 1 litre of quality stock gel with no additives
- Up to 250g of rendered fat, brilliant for your roasties!
How Much Will I Save?
Because the duck breasts cost about the same as a whole duck you get everything except the breasts for free!
- 2 breasts which can be twice the weight of the packaged ones – worth £4.00 – £8.50
- 2 legs – worth £4.80
- 250g duck fat – worth £2.50
- duck stock – worth at least £18/litre
You can’t buy natural duck stock in the shops and brown duck broth in 324g sachets will cost you over £30.00 for a minimum purchase of 5 online.
How to Butcher a Duck
I’m not going to reinvent the wheel when it comes to dividing up your whole duck. The Great British Chefs can show you how.
Making Your Own Stock and Fat for Roasties
You can’t beat homemade stock or broth, it’s so much better than shop bought plus you know what’s in it, especially if you are on a low salt diet.
You can make a dark or natural stock, the only difference being for the dark stock you roast the chopped-up carcass and vegetables for a while before they go in the pot. The dark stock has a richer flavour which complements the strong gamey flavour of roast goose or roast duck beautifully.
The stock also makes an excellent gravy for chicken or turkey and it is a family favourite around the Christmas dinner table.
I make job lots of stock and freeze it ready for when I need it. It will keep quite happily in the freezer for up to 9 months.
Natural Duck Stock
- 1 Duck carcass uncooked
- 1 tbsp Mixed Herbs
- Dismember the duck carcass and chop it into 2.5cm pieces making sure all the bones are split. This releases the natural gelatine.
- Put the chopped carcass into a large pan with the herbs. Cover with cold salted water and bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer gently for 2 hours.
- Strain the resulting stock into a smaller pan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until reduced by half.
- Allow to cool a little, and pour into a suitable container, such as a pyrex bowl. Once at room temperature place into the fridge and leave overnight.
- Remove from the fridge, you will now have a gel-style stock with a fat layer on top. Carefully remove the fat layer, this is great for the roasties.
- Keep in the fridge or freeze for later use.