Consider This Before Buying Frozen Duck Breast At The Grocery Store

Step aside steak, there's another protein that you should be searing to a perfect medium rare, and that's duck breast. Definitely a bird of a different feather, duck meat is darker with an intense and gamey flavor profile that differs from other poultry. While totally worth trying, it can be difficult to find fresh fowl at the supermarket. Luckily, frozen duck breasts are a great alternative. However, there is one thing that you should consider when perusing the frozen aisle.

You can roast or confit duck, but pan-searing is one of the best ways to showcase the savory and thick-skinned protein. According to Cook's Illustrated, duck breasts have a dense layer of fat that acts as insulation and buoyancy in the water. This fattiness is also what makes the breasts super moist, especially when properly rendered by scoring and slowly searing. Another unique thing about duck fat is that it's more stable than other animal fats, which is why it can be frozen for an extended period without quality loss, reports The New York Times.

Buy only as much as you need to avoid re-freezing

If you don't have time to stop by a poultry farm to buy fresh breasts — or if you're not quite ready to cook the waterfowl — then frozen is the way to go. Contrary to what you might think, the Montreal Gazette reports that frozen duck maintains the same succulent texture, flavorful taste, and crimson appearance upon being thawed.

However, MasterClass urges that you should buy just enough meat as needed because once the protein is thawed, it shouldn't be re-frozen. Although there is no safety risk as long as it's done within a few days of thawing, Healthline explains that quality will undoubtedly suffer as the extremes in temperature are likely to cause moisture loss and oxidation, which can impact color, aroma, and even reduce overall juiciness.

For the best results, the USDA recommends accounting for 1 pound (raw) of fowl per person. Doing this extra bit of planning will ensure tender duck breasts both now and in the future. Keep that in mind the next time you prep for a honey-lacquered duck!