(Family Features) If you’re ready for something new on the grill, nothing beats duck for a sizzling cookout experience. Duck is a versatile and delicious alternative to the usual beef, pork or chicken and it's just as easy to prepare.
Liven up your grilling game with whole duck or duck breasts, legs or wings paired with your favorite rub or sauce. Try grilling a duck breast as is, get creative and make kebabs or infuse flavor by marinating the duck. With its tender meat and crispy skin, duck is the perfect addition to cookout menus.
Since duck is a red meat, a properly prepared duck breast will look and feel more like a steak. Here are some easy-to-apply tips for adding a new meat to your menu.
Grilling a Duck Breast
When grilling boneless duck breasts, you will achieve the best results by starting the cooking process indoors and later moving them to the grill.
Make sure the duck breasts are thawed, if frozen, and remove them from the package. Pat each duck breast dry with paper towels then trim skin to the shape of the meat.
Score the skin into 1/4-inch intervals, but don’t cut into the breast meat. Rotate breast and score again, making a crisscross pattern. Season the duck breast with salt and pepper, preferred seasoning or marinades.
Render the fat from underneath the breast skin in a skillet on the stove. Place the breast skin-side down in a 325 F skillet or nonstick pan. Cook about 10 minutes over medium-low heat.
Move the breasts to a grill heated to medium. Place meat-side down and grill 5 minutes. Turn over and grill 2-3 minutes on the skin side. Let the breast rest 5 minutes before slicing. The final internal temperature of a properly cooked duck breast should be 165 F.
If you wish to add sauce while grilling, such as Pineapple Honey Glaze, brush it on the duck breast before it finishes cooking on the grill. Some sugary sauces may burn if cooked on the duck breast for the entire grilling time.
Farm-raised White Pekin duck has a mild flavor that adapts to a variety of cuisines and is a delicious alternative to beef and chicken. Plus, duck is leaner and has less saturated fat than other meats.
In fact, a boneless, skinless duck breast from Maple Leaf Farms is comparable in fat and calories to a skinless chicken or turkey breast. In addition, by scoring a duck breast and then searing it on the scored side, you can eliminate up to 70 percent of the fat while crisping the skin and adding to the distinct flavor of the meat. Duck breast is an ideal choice for grilling and serving with your favorite recipe.
For more information, recipes and cooking videos, visit mapleleaffarms.com.
Pineapple Honey Glaze
- 1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons jalapeno chiles, seeded and minced
- 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root