The day of the duck (£3.55)

Tesco is currently selling some plump-looking frozen ducks, £5 for a 1.9 kg (4 lb 3 oz) bird. More expensive, but 50% larger than the £2.50 frozen chickens. Having never tried the meat, decided to give it a go. A viable alternative to chicken?

Once home, removed the giblets (neatly packaged in a plastic bag inside the bird), and it now weighed 1.6 Kg (3 lb 8 oz). Also, incidentally, bought an oven thermometer (£2 normally, although mine was 75p off the discount shelf). It’s reassuring to see that the temperature in the oven really is the same as it says on the dial.


I had intended to cook the duck in my relatively economical slow cooker, but even if I had chopped it up it would not fit in, so in to the oven it went for 1½ hours – the most expensive way to cook something like this. After pouring off the juices the weight had reduced to 0.9 Kg (2 lb). Dissecting the cooked carcass, I picked off all the lean meat I could find, ending up with 286g (10 oz), or 17% of the original weight. My cunning plan was falling apart.


I prepared the meat for the dish I intended – the meat piled on slices of beef tomato on a wedge of lightly toasted and buttered homemade bread – by breaking it into small pieces and browning it in the frying pan with some all-purpose seasoning. It shrank even more.


There was enough meat, just, to make four of these open sandwiches. Cost of each one? At least £1.75 each. For my lunch had two with a cup of tea, so something like £3.55 for a single meal. Way over my budget!


Have to admit that it was delicious, like sort of beefy chicken, and the meal kept me going all afternoon and evening. For that reason I might do it again some time for friends or family, but a replacement for chicken? No!

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