Valley Bounty: Duck

No fowl can compare with chicken in sheer quantity consumed in the American diet—in the last few years it has surpassed even beef in how much we eat per capita (an average of 60lbs per year) for the first time in a century. Now I’ve certainly got no beef with chicken, so to speak, but one of the many benefits of having a strong local food system is that it allows for farmers who produce more niche products to be distributed on a smaller scale. So while I don’t imagine duck will unseat chicken from atop the poultry pyramid any time soon, I’m glad to have access to duck and duck eggs thanks to some of our local farms.

Duck eggs are larger than chicken eggs, and some research suggests they may be slightly more nutrient dense. You can cook them in any way you’d cook chicken eggs, though I think their slightly higher fat content makes them really shine when medium- or hard-boiled.

Duck meat has a fairly high fat content compared to chicken (ducks need extra fat for buoyancy and warmth while swimming), meaning it usually has a rich flavor and crispy skin when roasted. Roast a whole duck the same way you would a chicken, and save the extra fat for cooking and frying.

Valley Bounty is written by Brian Snell of CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture).