1. Food

Video:How to Butcher a Duck

with Erica Wides

If you're ready to cook a duck from start to finish, that means butchering it yourself. Find out how to properly butcher a duck to prepare it for cooking.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Butcher a Duck

Hi, I’m Chef Erica Wides from Chefsmartypants.com, here, for About.com. And this, is a duck.

The Parts of a Duck

Now people are a little weird and scared about ducks because they don’t really know how to cut them up or they don’t really know what to do. So, I’m going to show you how to break down this duck. How to take it apart into its four major pieces. So, first let me show you what the parts on a duck are.

A duck has 2 breasts, just like a chicken. Two legs, just like a chicken. And, wings, just like a chicken. But, unlike a chicken, the duck wings are kind of lean. What we’re really interested in with the duck is the two breats and the legs and the thighs.

Sharpening the Knife

Make sure that my knife is sharp and ready to go. So, this is a narrow semi-flexible knife. You could use a boning knife. You could use a knife that’s small enough, that you can kind of get in the intricate curves. I’m going to give my knife a couple of swipes. On my steel, just to make sure I have a good edge on it.

Remove the Duck Breasts

The first thing I’ll do is take the breasts off. So, what you want to do is just find that center breast bone. You just run your finger right along the middle of the duck and you’ll feel it. It’s right in there. And, take your knife and just cut. Right along one side of the breast bone. And you’ll know, your knife will tell you where you’re cutting. You’ll feel it. And you just follow the curve of the duck, along the carcass. Just like this. And, you just peel back until you meet up with the skin from the leg. And the nice thing is that you can actually see the meat ends right here. And, the skin begins, right in here. And, that breast is off.

So, here’s the first side of the duck breast and this is actually the duck tender. On a chicken we would use these for chicken fingers. We could call them duck fingers. Now, I’m going to spin this duck around and take off the other side. So, same idea. Just find that breast bone, get your knife in there, and cut right along that breast bone. Same idea. Just start peeling the meat back. And, always use the tip of your knife when you cut. So that you don’t cut into the meat too much. And, there we go again. When you see the meat end, and the skin begin, in there, you’re ready to go. Follow that skin back, and we’re off. And here’s the seond little duck tender.

Remove the Duck Legs

So, there is the seond breast and now we’ll take the legs off of the duck. And this is really easy, basically, now that you’ve removed your breasts the legs are really visible. You just separate the leg from the body, you just cut the skin, right there. And follow the natural curve of the duck. Bend back here, come right through that joint because you’ve already broken the joint. So there’s one leg, leg, thigh. And then the other side, same idea. It looks more daunting then it really is because all you’re really doing is cutting skin. So, I just cut right along that skin, right along that skin, and I peel back. And the same thing. Just like on the breast, where you see the meat end and the skin begin, that’s where you cut. There’s my second leg.

So there we have the entire duck, broken down. We have our two nice big duck breasts our two leg and thigh quarters. So, thanks for watching. To learn more visit us on the web at about.com.
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