How to bone, joint and prepare a whole duck. Recipe

Jointing, boneing, and filleting a whole duck and how to prepare the liver, neck and gizzard. Learn how to joint and bone a whole duck and how to get the most out of the different offals and cuts.

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Les ingrédients

Pour people
  • Fat duck ( 3.5 kg) : 6 whole
  • Maldon salt : 6 pinch(es)
  • Water : 300 ml
  • Fine salt : 200 g
  • Water : 2 L
  • Star anise : 3 whole
  • Black peppercorns : 5 g



    Firstly, remove the parcel of offal from the vent end of the duck.

    Start by feeling for the gap between the elbow joint and then slice through the joint using the length of the blade .

    Repeat to remove the second wing.

    while the Ducks vent end is facing you, stretch the legs out straight towards yourself while placing one palm on the sternum to keep the bird still.
    Nick the skin at the knee joint, this ensures that there is enough skin kept on the breast to cover it.

    Spread the legs out and dislocate the hip ball joint.
    Cut the legs from the body .

    To remove the breasts, begin by stretching out the neck skin and removing the excess. Using the tip of the blade, make an incision either side of the wishbone and pull it out by hand.

    Cut on either side of the breastbone of the duck using the length of the blade and then cut away the breasts, leaving as little flesh as possible on the carcass. Cut through the shoulder wing joint and repeat on the other side.
    Trim the excess skin from the breasts.

    The carcass can be used to make a stock.


    If duck has been prepared 'New York Trimmed' it will need the head and feet removed and discarded as well as the entrails detached.

    Gently but firmly take off any remaining feathers.
    Cut through the neck at the level of the shoulders and collarbone. Take off the skin, wash and sprinkle with maldon salt. Remove the windpipe, this is easily recognisable as a corrugated tube running down the neck.

    Remove any excess fat from the vent opening and set aside, reach in carefully and free the offal from the inside of the ribcage. The lungs will be the hardest and messiest to remove, however these aren't used for cooking so it will not matter if they are damaged.

    Separate the organs, discarding the dark green gall bladder, lungs and crop.

    Trim off any veins attached to the heart.

    With a knife, split the gizzard along its 'lobes'that you may spread and open it. Wash thoroughly to remove any grit, smells, food residue and the leathery skin from the inside. Sprinkle with sea salt and put aside.

    Remove any excess fat and trim the veins running between the two lobes of liver. Refridgerate covered on a dry tray with the heart until ready to use.


    Place any fat and washed skin trimmings into a pot and cover with water.
    Bring to a rolling boil until the water has evaporated.
    Strain the fat through a fine sieve and reserve for when needed. Keep any large bits of crispy skin on paper towel to absorb any extra fat.


    In a large saucepan, place the fine salt, half a litre of water, star anise and peppercorns.
    warm through to dissolve the salt, then add the rest of the cold litre and a half of water.

Chef's tip

«The rendered duck fat will keep in the fridge for a long time, use to confit foods or to roast potatoes in for a rich earthy flavour.»

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