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Mar 28, 2011 08:19 PM

Duck Breast Question: Fresh vs Frozen?


This is my first post, but I just came across a great thread on cooking duck in this forum from back in January, so I hope this is an appropriate setting for my question.

We just moved from the Washington DC area to Albuquerque, and were disappointed to find that fresh duck breast isn't readily available here. While we have tried several varieties/brands in the past, the fresh D'Artagnan Magret was our go-to choice when it was available, and I've never worked with frozen duck.

I noticed that D'Artagnan Magret can be ordered online, but I was curious about how the frozen breast compares to the fresh variety. Does anyone have experience with both? If so, are they noticeably different?

Alternatively, if anyone is in the Albuquerque area and knows where I might find fresh duck locally, that would be awesome, too!

Thanks in advance!

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  1. I eat magret regularly, but don't notice any difference at all between frozen and fresh (obviously we're not talking about freezer burn...)

    Thaw it in the fridge and off you go.

    1 Reply
    1. I've never bought commercially frozen duck breasts - but often buy fresh at the supemarket when they're on special offer and then freeze them myself. Never noticed a difference and I'd assume that you'd have a similar experience with your products.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Harters

        Same here, although I would not trust "fresh" duck from a supermarket to be truly fresh (which I interpret as "never frozen"), since the same market will advertise seafood that could not possibly be caught within a thousand miles as "fresh". In any case, I order several whole ducks from a local source, break them down myself, and usually serve a couple of breasts the same day I receive the ducks, freezing the rest. I've never done a side by side comparison, but previously frozen seems pretty much as good as fresh. One thing I notice is the frozen breast does not leak a lot of liquid when it thaws, and that's a good sign. Your experience with supermarket duck may vary. If you get a lot of pinkish liquid, you're probably losing something.

        1. re: Zeldog

          I was wondering the same thing about whether "fresh" duck in the grocery was actually previously frozen. It's great to hear that other have had good luck with frozen, though, and thanks for the tip on leaking liquid!

          1. re: Zeldog

            You know, I had never thought about that, but you're right -- there's never a puddle of liquid in the package of duck. (pensive) I wonder why?

        2. I regularly order whole ducks from D'Artagnan's. Both fresh and frozen. There is only the "slightest" difference in texture. No detectable difference in taste. In my mind, I prefer fresh over frozen. But I think that's only in my mind. If faced with a blind taste test...I wouldn't be able to tell the difference. I think it actually has more to do with the "quality" of the meat, than fresh or frozen. I love D'Artagnan's ducks!!!