This happened a couple of years ago, but I still don't have an answer. Christmas eve. I had a duck in the oven. I tried to cook it at a slightly lower temperature and a little longer than the recipe dictated. Also, I didn't turn the duck over at all.

The duck was completely done. My wife complained about the horrible taste of the breast, while I was happily eating the leg. Later on I found that the breast was foul smelling and tasting...

Any idea why this would happen? Did I cook too long, should I have turned the duck over, why should the leg be tasty and the breast foul???

  • 2
    A bad duck maybe? Have you tried again? – s_hewitt Oct 8 '10 at 17:35
  • Was it stuffed? – Aaronut Oct 8 '10 at 18:22
  • Perhaps you could provide a link to the recipe? – hobodave Oct 8 '10 at 20:02
  • No I haven't tried a whole duck again. It wasn't stuffed. I have no idea which recipe it was. This happened about two years ago. – BaffledCook Oct 8 '10 at 20:20
  • It might have been a bad duck. That would have been bad luck. During Christmas season. – BaffledCook Oct 8 '10 at 20:21

Assuming you didn't do some kind of "flavor injection" treatment, there is absolutely no reason why one part of a bird would taste radically different from another. I'm going to go with "Bad Duck."

Cooking the bird slowly seriously reduces the possibility of a "hot spot" causing some kind of local taste variance. Breast meat will become overdone at the point where dark meat is still tasty, but that wouldn't explain smell or taste, and unpleasant smells are almost always related to bacterial issues.

If it was discolored, it could have been local bruising, which would cause some taste issues, but, again, wouldn't explain the smell.

  • I'll try another duck next Christmas :) Nope, I'll try another duck before Christmas. – BaffledCook Oct 8 '10 at 23:47

You could have bought a wild duck. They can taste very fishy, particularly in the breast meat. The traditional way of getting the fishy taste out of wild duck is to cook it with a potato in the cavity but I don't think this makes very much difference.

  • I never knew that. I believe I bought a farm-bred duck. – BaffledCook Oct 9 '10 at 19:49
  • 4
    @GUI Junkie: If the duck came to you with feathers and bullet holes, it was probably wild. Otherwise, it was almost certainly farmed. – Satanicpuppy Oct 16 '10 at 0:39
  • Haha, then it was farmed. No doubt. – BaffledCook Oct 16 '10 at 14:17

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