So, it’s gone midnight and I’m wide awake, so what could possibly be a more obvious middle-of-the-night activity than butchering a whole duck? We went shopping this evening and they’re on offer again (yippee!) and this did need doing really, as I’m away at the weekend. It also gave me an excuse to use my brand new ENORMOUS chopping board from Ikea 🙂 And as I promised only the other day to provide some kind of tutorial on the matter, here it is.
Buying a whole chicken or duck is by far the cheapest way to eat poultry, especially when there are only a couple of you. Just to note – this is only how I butcher poultry (I do chickens the exact same way). I’ve had no training, so there’s probably another more “proper” way to do it. But this works for me 🙂
Does anyone else think that this is worth the hassle? Or am I being unnecessarily old-fashioned in my outlook? Join in with the poll – it’ll be interesting to see what people think!
Portioning a Duck
- You’ll need separate containers for the various bits of bird. I was freezing everything except the breasts, so they all went in bags. I’ll be making paté with the liver (UPDATE – now made!), so there’s the paté bag, one each for the legs and breasts, and the last one for the “jumpy bits” – all the rest of the bird which I’ll make into stock. If your bird comes with giblets, separate the liver and put it in the paté bag, with the giblets in the stock bag.
- Use your fingers to find where the thigh bone attaches to the body. Move the leg around until the joint cracks apart (you may have to be a little vicious). Cut into the skin around the leg, and separate the leg meat from the breast. This should be pretty easy to do – it’s fairly obvious where one ends and the other begins. Use your fingers as much as possible to avoid damaging the leg meat. Cut apart the thigh joint and separate the skin. Repeat for the other leg.
3. Cut the skin down the centre of the bird, and separate the meat from the carcass with your fingers. Use the knife where necessary to cut the skin, but try and use your hands as much as possible to separate the meat very close to the bone.
4. Tease the breast away from the carcass right down to the wings, and use the knife to remove it from the body. Try to keep the skin attached to the breast if you wish to serve it with skin. If not, the skin can be added to the stock bag.
5. Repeat this with the second breast. If there are any leftover bits of meat on the carcass, these can be stripped off with your fingers and added to the paté bag.
6. Remove the wings, and add any reclaimable meat to the paté bag. Add the wings to the stock bag, along with any skin remaining on the carcass. Split the bird down the centre and flatten it to access the cavity.
7. Strip any meat which is on the inside of the cavity. Place the jumpy bits in the stock bag. Once the carcass has been stripped, break it down into smaller pieces and add this to the stock bag too.