Whether you are doing it for catering, a restaurant or just really want to put some class into a private party, course meals are an epic culinary project. That’s why choosing the dishes for each course is so paramount!
At the same time though, you can’t deny that it’s going to need some serious expense management to be worth it. Some dishes, while ambitious, might require really hard-to-get ingredients. But on the flip side, you don’t want to be too cheap.
This can be especially frustrating in the main course. There are a number of different types of meat you could be using for it, many of them expensive. Which one can be a nice balance between extravagance and affordability? Should you focus on red meat, or white meat? Could it possibly clash with dishes in the other courses?
The good news is that duck meat can certainly help answer those questions. Here are three reasons why:
1. It is white meat that shares red meat qualities.
As previously mentioned, duck is considered white meat but has the juicy tenderness that makes it similar to a steak. You can use this to your advantage whether you are planning a single main course, or breaking it down into the two main courses featuring red and white. With the right choice of recipe, duck can be used to complement other roasted dishes, or serve as the centerpiece of the entire dinner.
2. Its cost is a good middle ground.
Duck may be more expensive than chicken, but it is not expensive as turkey. That makes it an easier pick if you are looking for something a bit more extravagant but not too pricey. Duck meat is more commercially available, both whole and in popular cuts (like breasts and legs). There are also ways to prepare duck that adds more value (such as using duck butter as oil in other recipes).
3. It matches well with a lot of options.
Remember, duck has been a main course feature in many cuisines (from British to Chinese). That should tell you a lot about how flexible it can be to plan courses around. Desserts of apples, honey and fruits are said to go well after duck. Likewise, vegetables and potatoes roasted in duck fat could be used for entrees.
Overall, understanding how duck is used in fine dining experience can be a great lesson on how these things are done while still being a bit more conservative when it comes to expense. Give it a try if you ever think of stepping up your dinner planning game!