How to Get the Most Dang for Your Duck: A (Very) Serious Eats Project

Overhead closeup of sliced, roast dry-aged duck breast on a plate.

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik]

Duck is my desert island meat. In fact, I would argue that duck meat is the best meat, period. For starters, it's incredibly flavorful and incredibly versatile. You can roast it whole until well-done, and it'll still be moist and juicy because it's so blessedly forgiving. Or you can pan-sear duck breast in a matter of minutes to a pink medium-rare with crispy bronzed skin. It's a great candidate for sous vide cooking, too, whether you're seeking an edge-to-edge even cook on the breast or a fall-apart tender, 36-hour sous vide confit treatment for the legs.

Closeup of a bowl with a crisped leg of koji duck confit over rice.

And so, I repeat, duck meat is the best meat. But I admit I still have a lot to learn about cooking it.

Which is why I cannot overstate my excitement for our month-long duckstravaganza, hosted by the one and only Sasha Marx. Over the coming weeks—and starting later today!—Sasha will be embarking on his Big Duck Project, starting with an essential knife-skill primer on breaking down whole ducks and leading up to more out-there techniques like how to rig up a fridge to dry-age said duck for even deeper, funkier flavor.

You can expect tutorials for making traditional duck confit, duck stock and jus, as well as roasted, dry-aged duck breast. And there will be plenty of offshoot recipes to cook through along the way. As for the rest? You'll just have to stay tuned to find out.

You can track Sasha's duck journey by following him on Instagram, or by checking out our duck page.