Raising Ducks

In Alberta, ducks are wild and there are over 20 species in the wild. Ducks are also farmed and sent on for processing.


Ducks were first domesticated in China over 2000 years ago (Larousse Gastronomique p430).

Ways to Cook

Duck can be handled and cooked almost exactly like chicken. It is also much darker in colour compared to chicken or turkey. To cook it, however, proper doneness and cooking methods should be observed. The muscle is tougher, leaner and drier. Whole roasted duck is classic and the flavours and accompaniments can include all sorts of flavours. Duck breasts on their own are best cooked medium rare and thinly sliced against the grain. Duck legs are commonly slow-cooked in rendered duck fat, called confit. This can be done in a heavy-bottom pot on the stove or in a vacuum bag in the immersion circulator. Duck is also excellent smoked, cured, ground into meatballs, or in cold preparations like galantine and pâtés.

Like other poultry, duck needs to be stored and handled safely to prevent foodborne illness. But if so done, duck breast can be cooked medium rare and consumed safely. It is actually a red meat so it is more like beef in that sense. (Please note that Health Canada still puts all poultry together in terms of safe cooking temperatures.)

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