Duck bacon is such a wonderful treat! Made from thinly sliced and smoked duck breast, it's thick and flavorful.
While it won't crisp up the way pork bacon does, its thick chewiness is actually quite pleasing, and its unique flavor is a nice change from the bacon we're all used to.
I adore bacon. It's one of my favorite foods and I love it so much that I sometimes have it for lunch or dinner - why limit it to just breakfast?
While I'm not a fan of turkey bacon (I find it too lean), there are two bacon varieties that I adore just as much as the original one - beef bacon and duck bacon. Both are wonderfully flavorful and make a nice change from the usual pork.
You'll only need ONE ingredient to make this recipe - a package of duck bacon. I never saw this type of bacon in the grocery store when I was living in California.
But here in the DC area, I spotted this package at the local store and just had to buy it. You can also purchase it online at dartagnan.com.
There are two main methods for preparing duck bacon:
- Pan-fry it like you would pork bacon. Arrange the slices in a large skillet. Heat the skillet over medium heat. Cook the bacon until heated through, 2-3 minutes per side. Place briefly on paper towels, then serve.
- Bake it in the oven. That's what I usually do. You preheat your oven to 400°F. Arrange the bacon slices on a baking sheet (line it with parchment paper or aluminum foil for easy cleanup), then bake for 15 minutes. Place briefly on paper towels, then serve.
Unlike pork bacon, which should be thoroughly cooked, duck bacon can be served cooked to medium if you're so inclined. So simply cook it to your liking.
Although admittedly the USDA does say to cook it to 165°F which is well-done. So as always when it comes to food preparation, you should make your own informed decision.
Personally, just like I do with beef bacon, I like to cook it for about 15 minutes in the oven, because I don't want it to be too chewy. But if you enjoy chewy bacon, you can try baking it for just 10 minutes or so and see how you like it.
Frequently asked questions
It's made from duck breast. The breast is thinly sliced and smoked. Since duck breast is relatively fatty and very flavorful, the result is surprisingly similar to pork bacon, although it's not as fatty.
You can't. Even if you cook it for longer, which I don't recommend because it will become dry and tough, it won't crisp up the way pork bacon does. It's simply not fatty enough (though it's definitely fattier than turkey bacon).
I actually like its chewiness. Its slices are thick and very flavorful and the slightly chewy texture is perfect, in my opinion.
No, unfortunately, you can't. It really needs to be either pan-fried or baked for the best results.
Yes! It's REALLY good. Perhaps not as good as pork bacon because it's not as fatty, but the meat itself is actually more flavorful.
It's WAY better than turkey bacon, in my opinion, so it's an excellent option for anyone who doesn't eat pork but would still like to enjoy bacon.
Variations and substitutions
I find that this bacon is excellent just as it is, so I simply bake it in the oven without adding anything to it.
If you'd like to try an interesting variation, brush the slices with a very thin layer of maple syrup (real or sugar-free) and season them with freshly ground black pepper prior to baking them.
The obvious way to serve this bacon is for breakfast with eggs. When I'm lucky enough to have duck eggs on hand, I make an all-duck breakfast! It's such a treat and a nice variation on the usual breakfast fare.
By the way, if you cook eggs to go with the bacon, you should definitely use the rendered fat to cook them! It's so delicious.
Here's how I do it: I bake the bacon in the oven for just 10 minutes, then set the oven to "keep warm." I carefully drain the fat from the baking sheet into a skillet, then return the bacon to the warm oven and cook the eggs in the rendered fat.
You can also use this bacon to wrap various meats, like I do in this recipe for bacon-wrapped chicken breast. In fact, you can use it in most recipes that call for pork bacon.
Cooked leftovers can be kept in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. You can briefly reheat them in the microwave. Start with just a few seconds per slice. You can also eat them cold straight out of the fridge. They're surprisingly good when eaten cold.
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Oven-Baked Duck Bacon
- 8 oz duck bacon
- Preheat your oven to 400°F.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
- Arrange the bacon slices in a single layer on the prepared pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven until heated through, about 15 minutes.
- Transfer the slices to a paper-towel-lined plate for a couple of minutes to absorb the extra fat.
- Serve immediately.