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Duck tips for Sydney

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giffsa Sep 12, 2010 06:09 PM

Greetings all - am wondering if any Sydney-siders have tips for purchasing whole ducks in Sydney (whole as in uncooked, to be clear). I am new to town and have need for about a half-dozen birds for a mass confit project....

If anyone has tips on where I might be able to get them at a good price (as opposed to the usual gourmet food shops etc) would be greatly appreciated. Someone mentioned Chinatown as an option but I'm not sure where...

Thanks all!
Sam

  1. s
    Syd.FoodGuy Sep 12, 2010 10:42 PM

    Hi Sam,
    I'm not sure that you'll be able to find a great deal; but I find that the least expensive way to get my duck is from Thirlmere Poultry. They have a stand at Eveleigh markets each Saturday morning, and seem to be well priced. Their number is (02) 4681 8468, so they may be able to do something special for you since you're buying quite a few.

    Regards,
    Dan

    1. Tsar_Pushka Sep 13, 2010 03:54 PM

      Pretty much all Asian butchers carry whole duck at good prices. So yeah Chinatown, try Market City butcher upstairs in the food court, or there is also a few up near Quay St (find Emperor's Garden BBQ and you'll see a butcher, walk a bit further up towards UTS and you'll find another near ramen shop Menya.)

      If you're in the suburbs go to your closest Asian community hub depending where you are, eg. Hurstville, Ashfield, Cabramatta, Bankstown, Eastwood. Here you will find the cheapest duck in town, expect to pay maybe $12 - $15 each, depending on size. Of course quality corresponds with price (not that it's awful or anything but don't expect free range organic etc).

      As an aside, if you're doing duck confit there is a Chinese butcher in Bankstown that sells only marylands and very cheap too ... maybe around $14 a kilo.

      Let us know your results. I've always wanted to make duck confit but procuring the duck isn't the problem, it's procuring the fat. Gourmet shops will charge you an arm and a leg for a a cup or so, so that's not really viable. The duck seller at Eveleigh Markets told me she sometimes sells bags of raw fat at a reasonable price which you can render down to make your own liquid duck fat but she hasn't had any available the few times I went. So yeah I'd be interested to know how you get on.

      Cheers

      4 Replies
      1. re: Tsar_Pushka
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        giffsa Sep 13, 2010 06:32 PM

        Thanks guys, good tips. So far I've only been able to find frozen ducks at the butcher shops in Chinatown but I will keep hunting.

        Tsar - I hear you on the duck fat dilemma. The answer, I think, is to use whole birds (hence the hunt for cheap ones). You can use the legs (and wings and neck if so inclined) for confit, remove the breasts for use in another dish, and then strip all of the skin & fat off and render it down for use in the confit. From 2 birds you can get about 3 cups of duck fat. So you can get the fat for the confit, the confit meat, and 4 breasts, all from the birds. Actually makes the whole process pretty efficient! You can even use the carcass for stock, if you really want to squeeze every use out the duck.

        1. re: giffsa
          Tsar_Pushka Sep 14, 2010 03:38 AM

          That sounds like a pretty good idea. Do you take all the fat/skin off the legs too though? To me confit isn't confit without the crispy skin. Ditto the breasts, you kinda need it to keep the lean breast meat moist when cooking and for better eating. Unless you're making a ragu or mincing the breast meat or something ...

          1. re: Tsar_Pushka
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            giffsa Sep 14, 2010 07:35 PM

            No, you keep the skin on the breasts and legs. As you say, not the same otherwise. If you strip everything else off the bird and render for an hour or two you can get quite a lot of fat however. Although I advise against falling asleep during this process. After 3 or so hours duck fat can get kind of.... smoky (apologies to my neighbors and the kings cross fire brigade for the other night)....

            Do you have the name or location of the bankstown butcher selling cheap marylands? Sounds like a good option. Thnx!

            1. re: giffsa
              Tsar_Pushka Sep 24, 2010 03:54 AM

              Cool, thanks for the info.

              Re marylands place ...Don't know the name but look up Dong Ba in Bankstown (my favourite Bankstown Viet restaurant incidentally ... try the bun bo hue, pho or anything really ... very tasty). From Dong Ba walk south on that street about 15m past the Chinese barbecue shop, past the Lebanese sweet shop and there is a little indoor alley where there is a Viet grocery, fishmonger and the butcher who sells the duck marylands).

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