I have had ducks before, I have had duck before. But I have not ever had a duck for dinner that I raised myself. So this is new.
I raised two batches of ducks. The first batch was raised traditionally. I fed them the high protein game bird food (and lots of it.) It cost me $30.00 for two bags to raise these 5 ducks to the suggested 8 wks old. They dressed out to 5 Lbs each and had lots of white fat.
The second group, I raised on pasture all day, and fed them organic chick starter at night to get them to come into their bedroom pen. I also fed them oranges that are still falling from our trees and garden scraps. By the way, they are not like chickens. They did not put themselves to bed at night. They like to hunt bugs in the dark. That would be a good thing, except I did not want the coyotes to eat them.
These birds dressed out at just a little under 4 lbs. They did not have a lot of fat, but what fat they had was yellow, and you all know what I think about yellow fat! I went through 1 bag of food to get these ducks to the right age. But more than that, I am trying to work with my land in a more sustainable way. I would love to find the balance of having pastured meat, but also keep them healthy and happy.
Yesterday, I rendered down the breast fat, skin side down only and put them in the fridge. I poured off the fat to save for the confit.
We will talk about the legs, liver and carcass another time. But tonight my friends, I will cook the flesh side of the breast to medium, put it on a lovely salad and serve it with a spicy plum sauce.
I am a red wine girl, but the tannins in a big red will not pair well with this dinner, so Pinot Noir it is.