The Best Way to Butcher a Wild Duck

For the ultimate wild-duck presentation, use the whole bird and leave the skin on. Here’s how.

Pluck the breast, legs, thighs, and rib areas of the duck. Use a propane torch to carefully singe any remaining small feathers or down for a clean-skin presentation. Use a sharp fillet knife to cut through the skin, down the sides of the duck over the ribs. Use the knife to follow the ribs to the breastplate and carefully fillet the first breast off the bone. Carefully cut under the skin on the breast bone ridge, separating the two breasts, and continue to fillet meat off the bone on the other side. Work down the sides completely removing the breasts from the bone. This will allow you to then pop the thigh bones off the body and continue to fillet thighs and legs off the carcass. When done, you should have one piece including two breasts, two legs and two thighs, entirely held together and covered with the fat and skin.