Can someone give me some easy tips for processing a Moscovy duck ?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by RAREROO, Nov 10, 2010.

  1. RAREROO

    RAREROO Overrun With Chickens

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    Hi Guys

    I have never had duck before and I have been wanting to try it for a while now and I've seen how large some Moscovy Drakes are and they should make great meat birds and I just wanted to get some tips on processing waterfowl. But heres the thing, I far I have only processed chickens before and just a few of them at that and we just always skinned them out becuase most of them were old tough birds anyway, But it seems that all the ducks that I have seen cooked on TV and such always have the skin on them and they score the skin with a knife before cooking it so I'm guessing that may be something importand to have the skin on but you tell me. I am planning on doing a whole duck for thanksgiving if I can get one by then or at least by Christmas. Also I since we always skinned the chickens we did, we have never plucked them and dont have a mechanical plucker so I need to know an Ol Timers method for scalding and plucking is the main thing, everything else I'm guessing should be just like the chickens we have done.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. KenLamWV

    KenLamWV Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Check youtube for videos for processing ducks. Before I got into chickens, I watched a few videos on how to process a chicken so I new fully what I was getting into. Maybe someone else on here will post the info you request, but in the meantime, hopefully you find what you are looking for.
     
  3. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    I have never done Muscovy ducks, but I do a fair share of every other type of duck. I, too, generally skin my waterfowl to save time while processing. Plucking waterfowl is a major PITA. I've been looking at using either paraffin in the scalding water or singing the pin feathers off. I was going to process some ducks about a month ago, but opted to hold off once they suddenly started laying eggs every day. (I think they saw me eying the pot and decided they better ramp up their game!) I, myself, had decided to use the paraffin in the scald water. A few folks here had recommended it to make the carcass turn out beautiful and clean. Without one option or the other you will be plucking for HOURS.

    Good luck.
     
  4. Tropical Chook

    Tropical Chook Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to the club......[​IMG] I've also only processed a few chickens, and then about a month ago I took on a Muscovy drake that was huge. In fact, I couldn't even use my regular 5 gallon drum for scalding. My advice is, get a few beers in the fridge, and just sit down to enjoy quite a task. When I did mine, it seemed to take forever, but what a wonderful sight when it was done. My wife then cut it up so we could put some in the freezer. All I can say it that it was certainly worth the effort. I have one more Muscovy left, also a drake, but I will definitely be getting more soon. In a way, they are better than chickens because they grow really quickly and can basically take care of themselves. Oh, and I like the idea of a single bird being able to take up a really large platter [​IMG]

    Conclusion........more difficult to pluck, but so, so, so worth it;)
     
  5. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    They first and biggest thing about plucking a Muscovy is pull up a chair you are going to be there awhile. They are a pain and time consuming to pluck. I tried putting soap in the scald water, did the wax thing and made a major mess. Just a regular old scald works just as good. If you are going to cook a whole duck I would pluck rather than skin it. Muscovy is a very lean duck to begin with so you need the skin to hold the juices in. I have ever put bacon over the top when cooking to help keep them from drying out. Also, when you cook it don't overcook it. When overcooked they are tough as can be.

    Steve
     
  6. duckfat

    duckfat Out Of The Brooder

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    If you want to pluck a muscovy duck, it is best to wait until pin feathers are at a minimum. You can usually tell by rubbing the breast to see if the skin is prickly or smooth. Also, try to process white muscovies as they tend to produce a better looking carcass because any residual feathers embedded in the skin won't be as noticeable. If you use a wax, which we do, make sure it is a true duck wax and not just ordinary paraffin. These duck waxes have a special adhesive in their make up and are more pliable, kind of like a bikini wax. Great for pulling residual feathers.

    Steve is correct that it will take a while. By myself, it takes about a half hour to process one muscovy duck from start to finish.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2010
  7. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:There really is a "duck wax"? The one time I tried the wax I used regular gulf wax paraffin - it was a mess of epic size. lol I ended up giving up and tossing the duck and I don't waste food.

    Steve
     
  8. RAREROO

    RAREROO Overrun With Chickens

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    Thank you guys all so much for all the tips, that should really help.

    Tropical Chook, I know what you mean, I wish chickens grey off to adult size as fast as ducks do. And I have seen some huge Moscovy drakes at the livestock sale and thats where I will be getting mine from as I dont own Moscovies right now, I just mainly have Swedish, but if this turns out well then I will proabably get some to raise for meat birds because like you said, with hardly any cost to the owner, ducks can thrive on free range and grow to a good butchering size in a very short time and are much more economical that chickens and turkeys. Keeping their darn water clean is the only downside.

    And Steve, thanks so much for you tips, espcially the bacon idea, I will definitley try that. I usually dont care for deer meat very much, but we have cooked it wrapped and/or stuffed with bacon, and that makes it sooooooo much better. So the duck would be interesting too.

    Thanks again to all of you, and I did go to youtube and was already going to before I posted this, I just wanted to see what my BYC people could tell me about it. But there actually wasnt that much on youtube about it, there was one with moscovies where the guy spent most of the video chasing them around his yard with a net trying to catch one and then didnt show the technically part of processing, it just fast forwarded to the dressed bird. Then there was a good one with a huge Rouen drake and it looked easy enough but I figure moscovies may be different than a domestic duck as far as plucking.

    But we'll see how it goes. Thanks again.
     
  9. duckfat

    duckfat Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Yes, it works really well, and ours was yellowish in color. It isn't as brittle and hard as regular clear paraffin and has good adhesive properties. We buy it in 50 to 60 pund boxes.

    Yesterday I processed six adult emden geese at about one goose every 35 to 40 minutes. It would be a nightmare without the wax.

    We use this: Junior's Duck Wax

    What I really like about it is that by saving the skin, I can saute the duck breast fat side down. With the skin and underlying fat scored, the duck fat is released into the skillet and imparts a fantastic flavor to the meat. I'll saute at about 300 for twelve minutes or so, and flip the breast over meat side down to cook another four minutes. Later, I'll stir fry potatoes or vegetables with the same rendered fat.
     
  10. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    hope it goes well!!!!!!!!

    Once you get past this first one, try skinning them. It's super quick and easy. We cut them up after skinning and use the legs and gibblets for duck sausage. We haven't found a bad way to cook the breasts yet [​IMG] You could run over them with your car, douse them in gasoline and they would still taste good I think.

    I did over cook this one but it was still good.

    [​IMG]

    Duck sausage

    [​IMG]

    Duck Breast

    [​IMG]

    Steve
     

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