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How to Butcher A Whole Duck

How to Butcher A Whole Duck


By Rachel Lovell
14, August 2020

Butchering a whole duck leads to a whole new realm of duck recipes at your fingertips. Use the breast for a delectable stir fry, the legs for a 'fakeaway' treat of KFD and the wings to make a wholesome, warming broth. 

In this video, our butcher and Chef Connor shows us how to break apart a duck. 

 

To break down a whole duck, the first thing we are going to do is remove the legs. Make a little incision where the leg meets the breast on both sides which frees the legs up from the breasts.

Then, turn the entire duck over, and where we’ve made that incision with our knife, we are going to follow all the way underneath the ribs there. Slide our knife underneath the leg, and then we’re going to snap the entire thing back.

We then got a little joint popping out and we’re going to slide our knife underneath that joint and glide it all the way along to the rear of the duck. That’s one leg removed.

Then I’m going to do exactly the same on the other side, where we’ve made our incision we’re going to follow that line underneath those ribs, bring our knife round – we’re just taking off something called the oyster there – then we’re going to snap the leg back, you can see that little ball joint sticking out, then glide our knife underneath, and take off the second leg.

We’re then going to turn the bird back over, and we’re going to remove the breasts.There is a big breast bone running straight down the middle of the duck, and we’ve got a breast either side.

It doesn’t matter which side you start with, but we’re going to make a little incision, keeping as tight to that bone as you possibly can.

Once you’ve made that incision you should be able to see that breastplate just underneath there. Turn the knife and we’re going to scrape along that breastplate, nice clean stroke to remove as much of the meat as possible.

Once we’ve made our way up to the top, we’ve got the wishbone. Now just run your knife across the top of that wishbone, follow it all the way down, and remove that breast.

Now we’re just going to trim up this breast a little bit, remove a bit of the fat from the outside, from the top and bottom, and we’ve got our one breast ready for cooking.

We’re then going to do exactly the same on the other side. So we’ve got the breastbone, keeping as tight as you possibly can, opening it up, twisting your knife, scraping against that breastplate, following it all the way along, right up to the end.

Then we’re going to scrape against that wishbone, all the way down, and that breast will then come off nice and clean. Again, we’re just going to trim the breast up, and our second duck breast has been removed.

Lastly we’re going to remove the wings. So we’ve got a big ball joint just where the wing goes into the main carcass. If you just slide your knife in there, that should pop out nice and clean. Same on the other side, inbetween the two joints and that’ll come out nice and clean.

What we end up with is our one carcass, two wings, both of those will go into stock, we’ve got our two breasts, and our two legs.

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