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Types of Duck - Any Difference?

I have been eating the Pekin/Long Island ducks from Krogers, but our local gourmet grocery store carries Muscovy, which are double the price but I admit I don't know if they weigh the same (they look about the same size but I read that Muscovy are bigger ducks).

Are Muscovy that much better, that is are they worth the price difference?

Any other types of ducks to consider, if I can find them?

By the way, I once had wild duck. Admittedly my hunting buddies and I weren't good cooks (back then) and it was horrible - tough and very gamey. I assume we overcooked it and it tasted based on what it was eating. Are wild ducks good to eat, and how do you need to prepare different?

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  1. I mostly eat Muscovy's because that's all that is available in my markets. And no, I haven't eaten the ugly, fastest growing feathered Muscovy quackers that poop all over my property and sometimes block my driveway, 29 of them from 2 hatches this year.
    Wild pintails and others are of course good eating, but you need to live near a flyway and have a friend who is a good shot.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Veggo

      Eat the local Muscovy's and your neighbors will love you!

      My brother and I christened them Chucks when we were kids since they looked to be half duck/half chicken. They make a mess and just keep breeding and breeding.

    2. Muscovy are leaner and gamier. Pekins are the ones I usually turn to because they're easy to get and they have copious amounts of fat if you're making confit, which goes over big in this house.

      No comment for wild duck as I've never had/cooked one.

      1. Wild duck is much leaner than domestic duck. The way I like it best is breast meat wrapped in bacon and grilled rare. I would like to try a confit of wild duck legs... you would need to get some duck fat from a domestic bird! But I live too far from the duck hunting members of the family now....

        1. Muscovy all the way.

          Pekin meat is white -- and ends up just tasting like chicken.

          Muscovy tastes like duck (and is, by the way, the breed most often served in Europe)

          8 Replies
          1. re: sunshine842

            Well I can't speak to Muscovy, but Pekin is far far from tasting like chicken.

            1. re: sunshine842

              I'll agree that muscovy duck is delicious, but pekin FEATHERS are white. Pekin MEAT is deep red when it's raw or rare, and brownish when cooked through. Maybe not as rich-tasting as muscovy, but richer than and very different from chicken.

              1. re: carnicero

                the last whole duck I bought in the US was labeled Pekin, and the flesh was snow white and so bland that we vowed we weren't going to buy it again.

                I've cooked, cleaned, and prepared enough duck and chicken to know that whatever this bird's bloodline was, it was most definitely not chicken -- it was a duck, to be sure.

                1. re: sunshine842

                  Was it Maple Leaf Farms maybe? Pekin ducks grown here on Long Island are red like beef all the way through.

                  I know Maple Leaf Farms is the most common brand away from here, and I've heard they pull a few fast ones to keep up with demand. Not subbing chickens for duck though! Maybe the feed or something like that.

                  1. re: coll

                    It was years and years ago -- I have no idea.

                    1. re: coll

                      Maple Leaf Farms ducks are Pekin, which is also called Long-Island Style. They are the same type of duck just can't be called "Long island" because they were not raised there. Duck is all RED meat. Pekin duck meat produces a mild flavor. Muscovy has a much stronger flavor. If you cook a duck breast properly, it will taste like a fine steak... not like chicken! I can assure you that no "fast ones" are being pulled at Maple Leaf Farms. The ducks are fed an all natural grain diet -- NO hormones, growth promotants or antibiotics... period.

                      1. re: BeachCook

                        But they're not from Long Island! Why don't they make up another descriptor if they're so wonderful? PS I've had them and they're not bad, just saying.

                        1. re: coll

                          Coll: Are you suggesting that we rename all Holsteins, or just that we deport all Jersey cows to the Isle of Jersey?

              2. The original comment has been removed
                1. I'm totally prejudiced, but Long Island Ducks are the best by far. If I ever move, I may never order duck again!