Recently I obtained 5 brace of wild duck from the gamekeeper on a local shoot.
Wild duck do not have the bulk of a farmed duck. There isn’t a awful lot of meat on them and so it’s easiest to breast them.
The duck were hung for about 48 hours and here’s how I took the breasts out.
Lay a duck in front of you on its back with the feet point towards you. Feel through the feathers for a breast bone. This is a long narrow bone that runs roughly the length of the torso. The meat that we want to take out is the breast meat. Start at the top of the breast bone and pluck some feathers.
Keep plucking until the skin on the front of the torso is visible.
Then take a sharp knife and make a cut into skin immediately to each side of the breast bone. Keep the side of the tip of the knife pressed against the breast bone and extend the cut up and down the bone. Go gently but cut as deep as the rib cage. Do this on both sides of the breast bone.
Gently peel the breast away from the rib cage with one hand and cut the breast away as you go with a knife held in the other hand. I use a boning knife – if you approve of Amazon here’s a link. Keep the knife sharp. Most of the work is done with the tip. Take care to ensure that the feathers do not contaminate the meat.
Then trim carefully around the top and edge of the breast. Repeat for the other breast. This is what the breasts should look like after they’re cut out: