Muscovy Drake too gamey? - butcher or exile?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by CarnardusBarbarius, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. CarnardusBarbarius

    CarnardusBarbarius Hatching

    Jun 25, 2019
    Oslo, Norway
    Hi all.
    I'm having some trouble deciding what to do with our year old drake.
    The interwebs has not been helpful, so here I am :)

    Will the meat from a year old drake be too gamey if we butcher him now?
    We have only butchered once before, a year old female that we rescued from a badger a little too late.
    The meat from that one was a bit too gamey and chewy for our tastes, but that could also be due to a lot of other factors beside age.

    There are a lot more details and circumstances I can go into, but lets start simple.

    Where does adult drakes (meat) go?
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life

  3. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    They are excellent cooked.

    The key is to cook low and slow.
  4. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    1 year isn't that old.

    You can roast it like a turkey, or piece it out.

    The breasts are huge... so nice to make homemade pastrami. Or cook them anyway you want... any recipe that calls for a super lean beef steak should work. Most duck meat recipes are NOT what you want, because regular duck is way different than muscovy. Especially once you take off the skin, muscovy meat has close to zero fat, so you need to cook for that.

    If piecing out, we will cook the legs and wings by themselves for a separate meal, and then the bones can be simmered (never boil, boil is high heat) for whatever soup you like.
  5. CarnardusBarbarius

    CarnardusBarbarius Hatching

    Jun 25, 2019
    Oslo, Norway
    Thats reassuring to hear
    And thanks for reminding me that muscovies are a breed apart when it comest to cooking them too!

    But I've somehow perceived that drakes have extra testosterone and maybe glands and stuff that makes them extra gamey. Is that not a factor I need to account for at all?
    Extra brining and so on?

    If we do butcher him, I've now learnt that it's important to stun and bleed out rather than use the ax at least.

    The last bird only got the ax the moment after it died from the injuries the badger did, so it probably didn't drain completely. It also spent half a year in the freezer before we finished the processing and cooked it, so I guess a bit of gameiness would be expected after that?

    ( I think the badger pounced when it saw me coming around the corner and realized it was now or never, so that was all rather dramatic! We didn't think of anything better to do than stick the bird straight in the freezer after that )
    Raenh, Trimurtisan and casportpony like this.
  6. Texag87

    Texag87 Crowing

    Sep 22, 2018
    Any animal traumatized right before death will have the taste change. We had that happen with hogs before. The adrenaline release taints the meat.
  7. Jpat

    Jpat Free Ranging

    Apr 30, 2018
    Nova scotia
    My biggest meat mistake was not aging the meat. Makes a huge huge difference
  8. CarnardusBarbarius

    CarnardusBarbarius Hatching

    Jun 25, 2019
    Oslo, Norway
    Ah, that's interesting.
    I actually had this tab open but not read yet:
    It seems to agree strongly with you on that matter, even if muscovies are maybe not strictly waterfowl

    So how long would you suggest aging a muscovy?
    I know that when aging bigger game they calculate day-degrees...
    Trimurtisan and casportpony like this.
  9. Magnolia Ducks

    Magnolia Ducks Crowing

    Jan 24, 2018
    Magnolia, TX
    I don't know about butchering or aging but muscovy breast on the grill seared medium rare is delicious. I marinate it beforehand in equal parts soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. There is also a company called Allegro that makes a marinade called Game Tame. I treat it like venison, either cook very quickly no farther than medium rare for breast but stew legs and thighs until fall off the bone
  10. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    No, not a factor at all. And most of the muscovy I eat is 9 month to over a year of age male.

    Not draining the flesh properly (improper bleeding) can make the meat a bit unsightly since it can leave engorged blood vessels. However, I haven't noticed a difference in taste.

    In improperly bled meat we just rinse more carefully, and pull off any large blood vessels. A short, like 1 minute. soak can also help to clean out the extra blood.

    But... as another poster mentioned... happy meat is tasty meat. If you upset or stress the animal before slaughter that WILL change the taste of the meat.

    Also, a half year in the freezer, especially if not well packaged, can cause freezer burn which can toughen the meat and change taste.

    After trying different dispatch methods.... we have gone back to the axe. The axe method is just so FAST, that it is much easier to do with little to no stress on the animal (or the human). Holding the duck upside down afterwards, even though it no longer has a head, does drain some of the blood. And then, as I already stated... we rinse well.

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