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Duck breast, preferably not frozen

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Preparing duck breast at home is a new favorite of ours. The first time we went looking, we were at the U Village QFC and they had frozen duck breasts behind the butcher counter in the walk in freezer. Now, they've rearranged somewhat and the only place they thought they "might" have it was in the frozen section with Cornish hens and the like (They didn't.) We did find frozen, again, at Larry's on Queen Anne.

Anyone know of a butcher shop or other grocery in the core Seattle area that sells fresh duck breasts?

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  1. I thought I saw fresh duck breast at Whole foods in Seattle. I know Larry's Bellevue has it, because I've purchased it there in the past. So, Queen anne larry's likely has it too or can get it.

    5 Replies
    1. re: twinbliss

      I think Whole Foods in Seattle used to carry fresh, but now carries frozen only.

      1. re: KathyR

        I should have added that even though the duck breasts at Whole Foods are frozen, they are delicious. I've had them twice in the last few weeks.

        1. re: KathyR

          We had them from Whole Foods at Thanksgiving and they were fresh, not frozen. I looked at them around Christmas and they had fresh duck breast but only frozen whole duck.

          I think University Seafood and Poultry also has fresh duck breast.

          1. re: Lauren

            I always thought the best duck dish in town was the roast Bohemian duck with dumplings and red cabbage at Labuznik. (Long gone, for you newcomers.) I once asked Peter, the owner/chef, where he got them. If I remember correctly (and I can't guaranty that), I believe they were from the midwest, possibly Amish, and frozen.

            1. re: Lauren

              I haven't see duck breasts @ the Whole foods very often.

              The one's at University Seafood are frozen (or previously frozen) but very good. Same for Uwajimaya.

              I'm not sure if the breasts at Don and Joe's are fresh or frozen, but I've gotten fresh whole ducks there. The butcher said that they can order anything w/ 3 days notice (I was asking about getting duck legs), so even if they usually have frozen, if you call ahead you might be able to get fresh.

              Cook's Ilustrated recomends these guys, https://www.dartagnan.com/, but I've never ordered from them. Ordering fresh, not frozen, meat through the mail seems a little odd to me.

      2. I saw duck breasts at West Seattle Metropolitan market over the weekend, in the regular meat case. Of course, they may have been frozen previously.

        1. I bought some a few months ago at Uwajimaya. They were not frozen, but may have been previously. They were very good quality.

          1. It wasn't duck breast but I did see fresh duck today at Don and Joe's Meat in Pike Place Market.

            1. You can get fresh duck breasts (as well as whole ducks) at Whole Foods. However, if you want to be sure they will have a fresh one, call a few days in advance.

              I believe the breasts are from ducks that are raised differently and are supposedly better. However, when I made whole ducks and breasts on Christmas, I liked the whole ones better -- then again, perhaps that's because I cooked them on a rotisserie. I'm sure the Whole Food folks could explain their birds' origins.


              1. Thanks to all for the leads. We probably should have asked the butcher at Larry's but we were too exhausted from shopping at that point and just took our frozen stuff and ran.

                I'll probaby check out Whole Foods next.

                1. This brings to mind an assertion I heard a few years back. I have lived near Seattle's Fisherman's Terminal, where the commercial fishers moor, for 50 years, and have enjoyed the opportunity to buy fresh fish directly from the boats, for all of the reasons implied in the above post, and more. Imagine my surprise, when our local "best fish of all" market, got all boasty about selling a particular fish frozen, asserting that "fresh" was caught and dropped into the hold, and rode there for the maybe 3 week trip to Seattle from Alaska, while frozen was processed within hours of the catch, and the degradation from freezing was of less consequence than the degradation of time in transit. Hmmm...???

                  Then, to confuse me even more, I met a couple of small boat fishers at the terminal who had installed on-board flash freezers and were selling frozen fish from the dock. This is entirely anecdotal, and quite possibly coincidental, but that was the best fish I ever ate.

                  If you get a chance to talk with the people behind the counter at the markets, and are able to hear any better data, please bring them to us.


                  ps: Life has not led me to a great expectation of duck, but this thread is making me hungry...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mr.nelso

                    Oh, I forgot an important part of my question: Does the universe of fowl have anything in common with the world of fish?