If chicken is your standard weeknight protein, listen up! Chicken may be plentiful and available in any form (nuggets, anyone?), but duck is the poultry you *need* to be cooking with. It’s full of flavor and has a layer of fat that’s considered culinary gold. (Seriously, if you’ve never had duck fat French fries, you haven’t lived.) Your first time cooking with duck might be intimidating, so we’re here to help. Below we have 15 flavorful and simple dinner recipes from pizza to confit that prove duck > chicken.


1. Duck Confit Ravioli: Duck confit is arguably the most common way that the protein is prepared. If you decide to try it out and have leftovers, this ravioli is a great way to utilize those extra bits the next day. (via Dash of Savory)


2. Duck, Date and Rutabaga Pot Pie With Duck-Fat Biscuit Crust: See ya, chicken pot pie. Take your favorite comfort food up a notch with a duck, date and rutabaga filling and by infusing the crust with rich duck fat. (via King Arthur Flour)


3. Balsamic and Honey Glazed Duck Breast: While chicken can be dry and bland, duck couldn’t be further from that. This balsamic glazed adaptation is a juicy, tender and sweet main dish that the whole family will request over and over. (via Krumpli)


4. Quick Cassoulet With Fennel and Duck Sausage: Typically, cassoulet is slow cooked to develop a deep flavor. But, when you use ingredients like fennel and duck sausage, you can get away with a fast 30-minute stew that tastes like it’s been simmering all day. (via Martha and Marley Spoon)


5. Jalapeño Duck Poppers: Five ingredients are all it takes to create a fun spin on a classic appetizer. Make these for your next game night and your friends will be shook when they discover the secret ingredient. (via Easy Peasy Pleasy)


6. Duck and Prosciutto Ragu Pasta Bake: Step back from your usual spaghetti and meatballs and try out a new pasta dish for a change. The duck in this bake is closer to the texture and flavor of beef, so it’ll please even the biggest meat lovers. (via Donna Hay)


7. Crispy Duck With Balsamic Blueberry Sauce: You can buy vacuum-sealed duck that’s been pre-cooked, if you’re not comfortable preparing it raw. This way, you can just make a killer sauce and be sure that you get an extra-crispy skin every time. (via Wozz Kitchen Creations)


8. Roast Duck Pizza With Fresh Figs, Rocket Greens and Hoisin Drizzle: Duck is more common in Chinese cooking than chicken, so it makes sense that it would be front and center on this pizza. Flavor the rest of the pie with sweet figs, spicy arugula and a vibrant Asian BBQ. (via The Woks of Life)


9. Steamed Buns With Duck and Pickled Grapes: Duck is a rich and fatty meat, which means it needs the acidity and tartness of pickled fruits and veggies. Pile both of those things in a pillowy steamed bun and your appetizer game will be on another level. (via Figs and Pigs)


10. Pulled Duck With Sriracha Plum Sauce: Brush with a spicy plum sauce while it’s roasting and your family will fight over the crispy skin. (via Nicky’s Kitchen Sanctuary)

Saveur Gumbo

11. Smoked Duck Gumbo: Take a quick trip to N’awlins by whipping up a slow-cooked gumbo. The key is building layers upon layers of flavor, including smoked duck and sausage with peppers and mesquite spices. (via SAVEUR)


12. Ginger Scallion Noodles With Pan-Seared Duck Breast: The root of cooking perfect duck breast comes from rendering the layer of fat just right. For fool-proof preparation, start the duck skin-side down in a cold skillet and don’t flip until the meat is almost cooked through. Don’t forget to save the leftover drippings for later! (via Wild Greens and Sardines)


13. Honey-Lime Sriracha Duck Legs: Duck breast usually gets all of the glory, but the legs are just as tender and delicious. To make them party perfect, coat with a sticky honey-lime glaze and roast until they’re perfectly crackling and sweet. (via Hunter Angler Gardener Cook)


14. Szechuan Fragrant Crispy Duck: When you’re ready to graduate to a more intermediate level of duck cookery, this recipe will test your abilities. You’ll first start out by marinating the bird, then air-drying it for several days before being deep fried. Trust, it’s more than worth the trouble. (via What to Cook Today)


15. Tea-Smoked Duck Fettuccine: You’ve probably never thought about smoking your meat with tea leaves, so prepare to be intrigued. Doing this will infuse the meat with a sharp herbal flavor that pairs perfectly with the richness of this luscious pasta. (via Foxes Love Lemons)

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