I am trying to recreate a faroese dish of braised puffin stuffed with cake.

As I live in the UK, puffin is not a meat that is easily available (if at all).

To anyone who has tried puffin or knows anything about the meat's characteristics, what would you suggest as a reasonable substitute?

My first thought would be a wild duck such as teal or mallard, but these tend to be very lean meats and would not normally suit the 90 minute cooking time suggested in the puffin recipe, which makes me think puffin meat may be quite different to how I imagine it.

  • 1
    Duck isn't generally regarded as particularly lean, though it does depend which part. It can end up dry if the fat escapes. A bigger difference may be that puffins mainly eat fish while ducks - at least the species typically eaten - live on plant matter
    – Chris H
    Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 12:41
  • 1
    Wild ducks are much leaner than the farmed breeds, and also have no intramuscular fat - it is all held in/under the skin.
    – canardgras
    Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 13:13
  • True that the flavour will be hard to reproduce as well due to their diets. Any advice on this also appreciated
    – canardgras
    Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 13:14
  • Of course wild duck is lean, but are you under the impression that it is the fat content that is relevant for suitability for low and slow cooking?
    – rumtscho
    Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 13:50
  • Not sure really - that's part of why I am asking. If others think it will be suitable, despite its low fat content, then that's good news for me. Intuitively, low fat content makes me think it will dry out - which is why I had my hesitations - but I have no empirical or theoretical justification for this
    – canardgras
    Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 14:01

1 Answer 1


I have had smoked puffin once in Iceland. It made me think of a lean, strongly-gamey/livery duck/goose breast that's been sous-vided till very tender - I remembered the grains (meat fibres) to be very fine. There was a mild sort of silky fishiness (that was masked by the smoked preparation) too, but I'm not sure if I imagined that knowing the puffin was a seabird.

I googled faroese puffin (here), and I think the 90min cooking time is meant to ensure that the batter sewn up in the bird is properly cooked -> making the puffin merely a slow-cooking vessel for the cake within.

If I had to hazard a guess, and you could forgo the aesthetic of a whole stuffed bird, then perhaps you could mimic the flavor by sousviding goose/duck breast that had been sewn up with the batter, with a bit of liver in the bag (unless your duck was already very gamey). I'm not sure how (or why) you would add that element of fishiness.

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