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Jun 2, 2007 01:52 PM

Query on doneness of poultry, especially duck

I know that we are supposed to cook chicken and turkey through, and I have no quarrel with that...but have always wondered why we can eat medium rare duck?????

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  1. Yes. No problem. With Moulard duck breasts it is the preferable way to cook them.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Candy

      Duck breast are best served medium rare to medium. That's why it's better if you buy a whole duck to not cook it whole. The legs and thighs will need more time to become tender while the breast need only a few minutes to be perfect.

    2. In answer to your question about why it's safe to eat duck medium rare, it's the breast (in French, "magret de canard") that we're talking about. It occurs to me that while chicken and turkey are considered white meat birds, duck breasts fall into the category of red meat and so can be cooked to desired doneness -- I prefer medium rare -- like steaks, lamb, etc.

      Squab is another dark meat bird that can safely be prepared medium rare and tastes best that way.

      1. So says Science in the Common Interest

        "The practice of serving duck pink in the middle is traditional practice in restaurants, and yes there is a potential risk of salmonella. It is suggested that if the duck is not pierced by a knife or similar object then bacteria have not been introduced to the duck breast. This is similar to rare or blue steaks."

        They go on to note that it carries the same risk as steaks. By the way, Clusters and Hops carries nice (conveniently packaged) duck breasts for cooking on the grill or sauteeing. Just FYI. (One of my favorite things).