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Duck price?

  • j
  • j8715 Mar 22, 2010 01:57 PM
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What is a fair price for a whole duck at a super market? Just plain ol' duck, not organic free range kosher rubbed with exotic oils by 70 virgins duck.

I've never cooked one so I don't really want to spend much on a "test" meal. I've eaten poorly cooked duck before and it is not something I want to repeat and certainly not something I want to spend money on.

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  1. I live near Boston and have recently seen both fresh and frozen whole ducks for $2.99/lb. It doesn't seem to be an item that goes on sale here.

    2 Replies
    1. re: greygarious

      Same price in my area, near Denver.

      1. re: jeremyn

        Ok, I've seen 2.49 I guess that is a fair price. I was hoping that was an awful price. . . It's tough to put down 15 bucks for something that might end up tasting terrible when I could get a rack of lamb that would be a sure thing.

    2. I have to admit I laughed out loud at the mental image I got from your post.
      Still laughing now, actually.

      Uh, yeah. On topic... I see them for anywhere from $12 to $14 Canadian for whole frozen Grade A. Saw utility grade the other day for slightly less, and if you're not planning to roast it whole that might be worth it (assuming you don't mind if it's missing a wingtip or something.)

      1. I had the same , and gradually worked my way up to getting a fresh duck from the local Thai market- it was in a bag in a cooler. Got home and didn't even think ahead that it might be a WHOLE duck, feet and head and everything. Had DH remove those, cooked it according to a famous cookbook and it still sucked. Greasy and bony and for more money I'd rather have had King Crab. I've decided I'm not gonna be the Great Duck Cooker after several failed attempts. Next time I'm at a restaurant that specializes in duck I'm going to have it and see if I really suck at cooking it or if maybe i just don't like the Duck Experience.

        In other words, I wish you luck. I really hope you're more successful than I was.

        13 Replies
        1. re: EWSflash

          How did you cook it? Duck is best if you cook the parts separately. Legs have an affinity for braising, breasts for quick cooking -- fried, grilled, etc. If you try to cook them both together, it is usually less than ideal. Roast duck CAN be excellent, but it takes a lot of experience to get it right... sort of like roast chicken.

          1. re: jeremyn

            I had excellent luck with Alton Brown's duck roasting method (and I rarely have success with his methods). You cut out the backbone and flatten, then salt it well and let sit for 3 days or so. Then roast it for an hour, rotating once. Give it another 10 minutes at a high temp to crisp the skin. It was my first whole duck and it came out perfectly for me.

            I paid about $23 for a 4-5 pound duck that fed 4 people at Whole Foods - Bell & Evans brand.

            1. re: Avalondaughter

              Unfortunately, I don't get cable TV anymore, so I can't watch Alton's show. It used to be the only one on Food Network I would watch. Following his recipes isn't the same. You don't get any of the WHY in the recipes.

              But anyway, I'm glad it came out well. I used to have much success using Alton's methods.

              1. re: Avalondaughter

                One duck for four people? Really? They must have been gnawing the bones; general consensus on previous discussion was about 2 people per duck:
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/662999

                1. re: greygarious

                  One duck for four people sounds about right to me. Would you feel skimped in a restaurant if you got a single, whole duck breast? How about a duck leg quarter? Both of those seem like reasonable portions.

                  1. re: jeremyn

                    Yes, I would consider it a skimpy meal if I was served one duck leg quarter. Tonight, I ate at a Chinese restaurant and had barbecued HALF duck. I was surprised to receive 2 leg quarters, seems they save the breasts for Peking Duck

                    1. re: bagelman01

                      ok, to each his own. A breast or leg quarter is plenty for me. When ordering duck in a restaurant, I've only received more than that once.

                      1. re: bagelman01

                        ok, to each his own. A breast or leg quarter is plenty for me. When ordering duck in a restaurant, I've only received more than that once.

                        BBQ duck at a Chinese restaurant is totally different. For one thing, it is often shared.

                  2. re: Avalondaughter

                    Sounds like you hit on a winner. I even have a couple of Alton's books.

                    Do you think that the same cooking method would work for a goose?

                    1. re: Avalondaughter

                      That's called 'spatchcock'

                    2. re: jeremyn

                      I've cooked it several ways, none of them well. I may just give up trying and have it in restaurants, it's usually good there. Add it to that list of things you eat out but not at home. Sigh...

                      1. re: EWSflash

                        What did you try and what didn't you like about it? Maybe I can help you troubleshoot.

                        1. re: EWSflash

                          I smoked the duck on the Big Green Egg. Whole. First, dip in nearly boiling water. Stuffed with raw onion and oranges, chopped into quarters or halves. 250 degree smoker, some hickory chips (soaked) in with the charcoal. After a while, soy sauce/rice vinegar/honey baste every half hour or so. Takes 5-6 hours, mahogany in tone. Delicious.