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This fowl has a foul rap: Take a fresh look at duck breast

Duck breast can offer variety to any restaurant menu or kitchen table.

For example, Chef Christopher Mark at Ste. Anne’s Spa in Grafton, Ont., says that’s exactly why he uses it on his menu.

The misconception that duck is a higher calorie meat than, say, chicken, is way overblown, he says. It is fattier but the fat renders easily and can be skimmed off before serving, thereby making them almost the same.

The richness of duck’s flavour means that you can serve less and feel just as satisfied.

Roasting a whole duck is just as easy as roasting a chicken.

The only trick is to score the skin to let the fat drip out. Be sure to line your roasting pan and catch the drips. Don’t be tempted to add liquid to the pan to make a jus, it will sputter and spatter something awful.

Any Asian market worth its salt will be a brilliant supplier of duck. The price is usually lower per pound and whole ducks are plentiful. Many grocers are now stocking just the duck breast and it may cost a little more but is a great way to introduce yourself to this tasty protein.

Serve something light and sweet on the side since duck pairs well with fruit, particularly intense fruits like citrus or cherries.

Theresa Albert is a Food Communications Specialist and private nutritionist in Toronto. She is @theresaalbert on twitter and found daily at myfriendinfood.com