Healing Kitchen

Mail-Order Duck Breasts
When you think of duck, does it brings to mind a greasy not-much-meat-on-it bird? Well, think again. The fact is that duck has been given a very bad rap. Skinless duck breast is actually leaner than chicken breast (120 calories and 2 grams of fat versus 140 calories and 3 grams for 3 ounces cooked). Duck can be eaten medium-rare and tastes a lot, not chicken, beef!

It used to be that the only duck you could find--if at all--was whole and frozen hard as a rock. The folks at Culver Duck Farms have been trying to change all that. They've been raising White Pekin ducklings (often referred to as Long Island duckling) for five generations. Started in 1858 in Westhampton, Long Island, Culver Duck Farms was the first Long Island duck farm. In 1959, Herbert and Marilyn Culver moved the farm to Middlebury, Indiana, where it is still run by the Culver family. Although they have for years been selling their ducks to the restaurant trade, about 3 years ago they decided it was time for the general public to reap the benefits, too.

And luckily for the general public, these folks know their duck. They carry whole ducks, boned ducks, partially boned duck halves, duck legs, and duck breasts, both on the bone and boneless. You can get them plain or marinated. We're partial to the duck breasts--they're easy to prepare, cook in no time, and taste delicious. We can't refrain from the obvious: We're quackers over this duck. We've had Culver's duck breasts pan-seared. We've grilled them on top of the stove in a grill pan. And we've barbecued them. For pan-searing or pan-grilling, we cooked them with their skin on (which you remove before eating). For barbecuing, you should remove the skin, lightly oil the grill and cook like a steak. The meat is tender, succulent, and lean. Slice it and serve atop a crisp green salad. Or, whip together a fresh fruit salsa (we've tried mango and cherry) and spoon it over slices of duck. If you're so inclined, make a quick pan sauce with a little orange juice, red wine, and currant jelly. Remember, duck marries well with fruit that has some acidity to it, as it complements the richness of the meat.

For prices (about $1.50 a pound for whole duck, up to about $6 a pound for boneless breast) and to order, go to or call 1-800-825-9225.

Author: Sandra Rose Gluck
Date Published: 09/17/2000
> Printer-friendly Version