Duck is absolutely delicious. It’s not a common kind of meat to eat but there are many ways to prepare it. In order to complete a duck meal, we’ve put together vegetables that go well with duck. These vegetables compliment the flavor of the duck and just create a whole meal.
What’s so great about duck?
The consumption of duck has increased in the last 15 years. More and more people are enjoying this red meat protein that isn’t comparable to chicken or turkey.
First of all, what is it? A duck is a bird that swims and takes flight. It’s basically more active than a chicken or turkey. Wild ducks are more exposed to different kinds of environments meaning that their diet is more diverse. Wild ducks are a lot tastier than farmed ducks. Farmed ducks are still excellent and tasty but just not as tasty as wild ducks.
What makes them different from chicken and turkey? The meat of a duck is more red meat in the beefy sense compared to the red meat or chicken or turkey. The skin is thicker and the fat is fatter. Unlike chicken and turkey, it’s actually best to cook duck breast medium-medium well. It’ll make the meat more tender.
Duck is a great source of protein because it is rich in selenium and zinc. However, since it’s a way leaner bird compared, it tends to have less meat. If you’re cooking for a lot of people, duck may be a little bit more pricey.
So how should we make a duck taste great? There are so many ways to prepare duck. The most common is searing duck breast and serving it medium. The next most common way to prepare duck is Chinese Peking duck. It’s absolutely amazing.
Here is a list of vegetables to complete your duck meal. These vegetables compliment the flavor of the ducks and just create a harmonious experience altogether.
Beets absolutely taste amazing with duck. The earthiness of the beets complements the flavor of the duck and it just looks so pretty to eat. It’s nice to serve a beet salad together with some fennel, celery, watercress, and arugula. Dress this salad with a gorgonzola cream dressing to cut through the zing of the vegetables.
Carrots are perfect to pair with duck because of their slight sweetness. Duck already has a rich taste and we need to pair it with contrasting flavors in order for the diner not to get tired of eating it. It’s good to pair it with roasted carrots or even a mashed potato and carrot side.
Celery isn’t commonly eaten as a side but as a vegetable to add to dishes. Celery adds so much flavor and aroma to dishes like stews and stir-fries. However, it’s also a very good idea to simply roast the celery together with other vegetables like carrots, zucchini, and eggplant. It adds flavor and texture to the vegetable mix, making it more interesting to serve with duck.
Cabbage is absolutely delicious with duck. There’s something about the mild taste of this vegetable that enhances a duck meal experience. You can eat it fresh or cooked. If you’re having it fresh, we suggest eating it Japanese katsu style, which is finely chopped, drizzled with some dressing. The crunch from the fresh cabbage will certainly add freshness and texture to the duck meal. If you’re serving it cooked, try to saute it in duck fat with some cheese to top it. It’s a perfect duck-tasting side!
Potatoes are always a good idea to turn into a side. It’s the perfect starchy vegetable to serve with anything because it’s versatile and diverse. You can do so much with potatoes, most especially with duck. You can treat the preparation of potatoes to how you would prepare them for a steak dinner. You can either go duchess potatoes, mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, or even smashed potatoes.
Spinach is forever a delicious and clever side to pair with any kind of food. You can eat it fresh, eat it sauteed or even turn it into a delicious side dip that you can top your duck with. We can imagine a creamy spinach and artichoke dip slathered on slices of medium-cooked duck breast. This makes a creamy and rich delight together with the duck.
Arugula makes a delicious side salad together with duck. Arugula is a leafy salad green that’s nutty and slightly bitter. Don’t mistake the bitterness of this leafy green as unpalatable. It’s pretty delightful when paired with stronger tasting meats like duck, beef, venison, and lamb. Try to toss your fresh arugula with some walnuts, apples, and dried cranberries to pair with a roasted duck breast.
Watercress is a delicious peppery leafy green that you can either eat fresh or cooked. We prefer to eat it fresh because it makes a great salad together with duck. The peppery flavor of the watercress adds spice to the duck and it gives an entire dish a little bit of boost in character. Watercress is also great sauteed in butter, garlic and cheese. It is reminiscent of sauteed spinach but a little peppery.
Fennel generally has a mild licorice flavor with a lot of crunch. We love fennel bulbs just as much as we love fennel seeds. There are two main ways that we love to prepare it. First is thinly sliced and served as part of a salad like a watermelon and fennel salad dressed with a mint yogurt sauce. The other is sauteed with carrots and zucchini. We love the tenderness of cooked fennel. It’s very enjoyable to eat together with duck because the licorice flavor enhances the flair of the duck.
Parsnip is a root vegetable that is starchy. It has the sweetest of carrots and the slight bitterness of turnips. They’re not the common type of root vegetable and we love that about parsnips. If it’s your first time to pair parsnips with any food, try to mix it in with some other root vegetables like potatoes, yams, and sweet potatoes. Allow for all of these more familiar flavors to mix in with the parsnip to enjoy it. We absolutely love its texture paired with duck.