I bought a small wild duck and I don't know how to cook it. I read that duck meat may be tough and hard to keep the meat tender after cooking. How do I avoid this? Should I debone it, or separate the breasts?

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    Any answers you get will be opinion based. For that reason, I'm voting to close. I suggest you find a recipe that appeals to you and try it. If you have problems with it, perhaps then we can help. And while there are many recipes for duck with orange sauce, there are just as many without orange sauce.
    – Cindy
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 14:56
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    I think their might be something to be redeemed with this question. There are some general technique differences, between cooking a chicken vs cooking a duck. If you say, I have a small duck, and I'd like to roast it. I have heard that it is easy to cook it to be too tough. How can I best ensure tender meat? That seems reasonable enough to answer to me? shrug Even, on a more general note, why is duck harder to cook? would provide for some solid, non opinion based answers.
    – talon8
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 15:42
  • That said I might close it as a duplicate... See these related questions:cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/50312/… cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/49994/…
    – talon8
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 15:45
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    I removed your question about orange sauce, and tried to focus on a single, answerable question. I left the part about the breast in, though as talon8 pointed out, it seems like a duplicate, unless there's something else you meant by it?
    – Cascabel
    Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 6:35
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    Possible duplicate of Differences between cooking a whole duck vs chicken or turkey?
    – moscafj
    Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 14:47

1 Answer 1


If tenderness is what you are after, cook it sous vide to an internal temperature around 130degF for about 3 hours. It should be easier than roasting it to keep the meat tender.

Cooking meat in a temperature controlled water bath being one of the simplest ways to cook meat without accidentally overcooking anything. You can fine many sous vide duck recipes online.

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