The Best Type Of Duck For Roasting

Eating duck as a meal is not a new idea in the culinary world. According to British Food History, the duck is believed to have been first domesticated in China around four thousand years ago, and the Egyptians followed suit soon after. Today, the duck is a popularly consumed bird in modern China and Britain in both the wild and larger farmed varieties.

Higher in fat and darker meat than chicken, ducks are typically a special-occasion dish because they are more expensive than other poultry. Family Farm Livestock says that the reason duck costs more is that they need more space, time, and food to become mature, and that processing them is also more expensive. Because of its rich characteristics and higher cost, duck is less common to find on the dinner table than chicken or turkey. And many folks aren't sure how to best prepare duck, or which are the best varieties to seek out. But that's okay! If you're venturing into the world of duck for the first time, we know the best kind of bird for you to buy.

The Long Island Duck

Most people tend to cook up either duck legs, breasts (with or without the bone) or roast the duck whole. The best place to start is probably duck breasts because they are widely available and harder to dry out than chicken breasts. This is because they are protected by a fat layer that partially renders and then gets cripsy during the cooking process, which keeps the flesh moist (via BBC Good Food). When roasting, it's best to score the skin covering the breast so that the fat will be exposed to direct heat. One of the best birds to do this with is the Pekin duck.

According to Dartagnan, the Pekin Duck, aka the Long Island Duck, is wildly popular for its flavor, which is mild (as opposed to gamey), tender, and adaptable to a variety of recipes. MasterClass says the Pekin duck is one of the most accessible ducks to buy in the U.S. and is the perfect size for feeding two, weighing anywhere between 5-6 pounds. Whether you are planning on serving honey-lacquered duck breast or cooking up a whole orange roasted duck, the Pekin duck is undoubtedly the one you should be looking to buy and stuff with whatever flavors your palate desires.