Fresh Duck from Brunty Farms

I’m fortunate to live in an area with an amazing farmer’s market. This is the real deal: everything sold there is grown locally and marketed by the farmers themselves. And by far my favorite stand at the market is Brunty Farms. I stop by every time I visit the market to pick up a few dozen eggs and a chicken or two. The chickens roast up juicy, moist, and flavorful; and the eggs are by far the best I’ve ever eaten. If I run out of eggs a few days before market day, I’ll change my baking schedule rather than buy grocery store eggs.

Brunty Farms is known for its pasture-raised chickens, which literally have the run of the farm. But Brunty is also gaining a reputation for its pork, turkeys, heritage poultry, and produce. And, to my great delight, they’ve also begun raising ducks.

I’ve purchased duck eggs from them a few times, and recently was fortunate to get my hands on one of their fresh ducks. Mel e-mailed me a month or so before they were planning to process the ducks to see if I wanted one. Of course I said yes, and last week my duck was finally ready!

The duck was on the smallish side — about 4 pounds — and in retrospect, I probably should have roasted it whole. But I had other plans for it, so as soon as I got it home, I began butchering it.

I’m not an expert when it comes to butchering poultry, but ducks are actually pretty easy to take apart. They’re connected by layers of fat, and it’s easy to follow the fat lines to remove the breasts, legs, and wings. And the bones are light, brittle, and easy to cut through at the joints.

I froze the wings, carcass, and other miscellaneous parts to use for stock. I put the legs in the fridge to use for duck confit. And the breasts became dinner that evening.

In keeping with the quality I’ve come to expect from Brunty Farms, this was the most tender and flavorful duck I’ve ever made. I don’t know whether they will continue raising ducks at the farm, but I sure hope so.

And I can’t wait to get my fresh turkey from them for Thanksgiving!

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9 Comments

  1. Sara said,

    November 14, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Looks great! My two sources for free-range meat don’t have ducks (but they do have rabbits and I have a capon from them in my freezer). I would really like to try roasting a goose someday!

    • gaaarp said,

      November 14, 2011 at 7:45 pm

      I wish Brunty did rabbit. I like cooking with it, but it’s hard to come by here. We roast a goose every few years around the holidays. Not much to look at, but the meat is really good.

  2. Kayte said,

    November 12, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Impressive…the farmer’s market, the duck guy, and that you can cut up a duck so nicely. I’m envious of all of it!

    • gaaarp said,

      November 12, 2011 at 7:54 pm

      I can do a duck butchering demonstration when we all get together.

    • gaaarp said,

      November 12, 2011 at 8:07 pm

      Oh, and it’s actually a duck gal. Mel — short for Melanie.

  3. November 12, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    I agree with Melanie, very brave to try cutting up a whole duck.. Looks
    Ike you knew what you were doing.. And now so do we!

    • gaaarp said,

      November 12, 2011 at 5:45 pm

      It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t know any better!

  4. Melanie said,

    November 12, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    I’m impressed that you tackled that whole duck! I’ve never made duck before, but I really, really want to try it and your post made me want to even more. I didn’t know you were in Ohio. That’s where I’m from. I was born in Canton and grew up there for a short time, but lived mostly in Columbus til just a few years ago when I got dragged here;)

    • gaaarp said,

      November 12, 2011 at 5:41 pm

      Duck is really good, and it’s surprisingly easy to make. I don’t know why it’s not more popular in the States.


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