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Buying fresh duck?

overlords Jan 14, 2014 01:51 PM

my girlfriend has been bugging me to make her duck confit for some time now. I searched some older chowhound threads and found a bit advice. Some of it suggested buying entire ducks at asian markets as they're fresher and cheaper than any other option. The threads were pretty old, though.

Anybody have any suggestions for where to get some fresh duck for a good price?


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  1. hala RE: overlords Jan 14, 2014 07:06 PM

    You can get frozen legs at Aubut for a reasonable price. For fresh duck head to one of the public markets, but it won't be cheap.

    6 Replies
    1. re: hala
      overlords RE: hala Jan 14, 2014 07:13 PM

      So would you say that heading to chinatown is a bad move? Aubut is crazy far out for me and I don't drive.

      1. re: overlords
        hala RE: overlords Jan 15, 2014 02:55 PM

        I would not call it a bad move. Aubut is closer for me so that's where I go :) If you're making confit, you don't need the freshest legs, so frozen will do. If you were making a tartare, that's another story.

      2. re: hala
        sir_jiffy RE: hala Jan 16, 2014 11:38 AM

        Bought some at Aubut during the Holidays to make confit (SV). Frozen, 6-pack, product from Hungary(!), as was their frozen Foie Gras. Not written which kind of duck, but based on their size (BIG), provenance (same as Foie Gras) and previous comments, it probably is Muscovy or Moulard. About 3.50$/leg IIRC. Havent tasted yet.

        Stupid me, didnt think of going to Marche Oriental or G&D for cheaper alternatives. Will know for next time.

        1. re: sir_jiffy
          lagatta RE: sir_jiffy Jan 16, 2014 12:50 PM

          That sounds very good. Hungary is well known for (goose and duck) foie gras production. http://everythingbudapest.eu/Budapest... Yes, I know it is strange to import poultry from Europe.

          I presume you have enough duck fat to do the confit...

          1. re: lagatta
            sir_jiffy RE: lagatta Jan 17, 2014 08:51 AM

            No need for fat, since I did them Sous-vide. Tests have shown that when doing SV, additional duck fat is superfluos, and based on past experience, I agree :)

            I wont even try to convince myself they are in any way a healthier alternative though...

          2. re: sir_jiffy
            hala RE: sir_jiffy Jan 17, 2014 10:02 AM

            I went and checked yesterday and it says Mallard ducks. Price was 26 dollars for 6 legs yesterday- more expensive than when I last bought them, but still a good deal. And, yes they are hungarian.

        2. w
          wattacetti RE: overlords Jan 14, 2014 08:22 PM

          A moulard or Muscovy leg like what you would find at one of the bouchers in Atwater or JTM will set you back about $5 or so per leg (give or take, depending on size and vendor).

          You can also try the Canard Libéré shop on St-Laurent, which will sell you Peking duck legs, which are smaller and have less fat. This product is also available at several grocery chains, and they are not necessarily cheaper than the moulard legs.

          Unless you're going to sous-vide or have already stockpiled some fat, the bouchers have a better chance of being able to provide you with adequate quantities of fat to do the confit.

          How many legs are you going to confit? If it's just the two of you, it's the equivalent of taking her out for trios at the Golden Arches.

          1. s
            Shattered RE: overlords Jan 15, 2014 06:28 AM

            Canard Libéré aka Canard du Lac Brome is very expensive.

            Go to Chinatown. G & D supermarket in the basement of Swatow Plaza has duck. Maybe not whole duck, but they will have legs. If you really need whole duck, I'd be really surprised if a poultry purveyor for those restaurants isn't right in the hood, so ask around.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Shattered
              SnackHappy RE: Shattered Jan 15, 2014 09:42 AM

              I don't know why the OP would need whole ducks since they are making confit, but the best deal on whole duck is utility grade frozen ducks in Asian supermarkets which are pekin ducks from Lac Brome.

              That being said, confit is normally made with foie gras ducks or at least moulard or muscovy. I don't have first hand experience with making confit, but it is my understanding that pekin duck does not give good results.

              1. re: SnackHappy
                wattacetti RE: SnackHappy Jan 15, 2014 10:25 AM

                Pekin legs are useable but you have to put a little more effort in it to ensure that results are elevated to "meh". If you get a small-ish confit leg that seems really inexpensive, chances are excellent that it's one of those.

                1. re: SnackHappy
                  overlords RE: SnackHappy Jan 15, 2014 12:52 PM

                  I got the idea from another chowhound thread where it was suggested that buying the whole duck, in the end, would be a better deal. I could get a bunch of extra fat off the carcass for the confit, I could make a few quarts of stock from the bones, and I could freeze the breasts to do in a sous vide later on.

                  but again, that was only a suggestion. More than willing to change the plan based on advice in here.

                  Already you've told me types of duck to stay away from, which is something I didn't know before. Thanks!

                  Do the shops around china town only deal in Pekin duck?

                  And yes, it's just the two of us.

                  1. re: overlords
                    wattacetti RE: overlords Jan 15, 2014 02:39 PM

                    Most of the whole ducks locally available are Lac Brome, so Pekins. You can get other ducks (some larger) from the bouchers but they more expensive. I buy canes (females) to make duck pears and they run about $40-50/bird.

                    If you buy two moulard legs and are going to do the confit by SV, then you don't need any additional fat; the trim that you will do on the legs will render enough fat for the spoonful or so that you need in each SV bag.

                    One duck carcass does not make a couple of quarts of stock unless you like it on the thin side.

                    1. re: overlords
                      SnackHappy RE: overlords Jan 17, 2014 09:06 AM

                      I'm not sure about the economics of buying whole ducks, but if you're willing to to do all that work, it's probably worth it.

                      I'm pretty sure the stores in Chinatown don't sell moulard or muscovy ducks.

                      And as long as you're making confit, you might as well make a good sized batch as it keep for months and gets better with time. After all, confit is a conservation method.

                  2. re: Shattered
                    lagatta RE: Shattered Jan 15, 2014 10:53 AM

                    Canard libéré is not on St-Laurent on the Plateau any more, it is on Jean-Talon (and rue du Marché du Nord) at the top end of Jean-Talon Market. I buy fresh duck livers from them, and also drumettes, but not whole ducks or other duck parts, as they are much cheaper at Marché Oriental 5 minutes' walk east of there, on St-Denis just south of Jean-Talon. I've seen them cheaper still at Kim Phat on Jarry.

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