Ducks have been kept for food for over 4000 years, and they are still just as popular today. When properly cooked, duck is incredibly tasty and nutritious – and it's actually very lean if you remove the skin, making it a great option for dieters. Duck is packed with vitamins and nutrients, and it's also incredibly easy to cook. Generally, three parts of the duck are cooked – duck breasts, duck legs, and the whole duck. Duck breasts are cooked in a similar way to steak, with the only difference being that the fat should be rendered down over a low heat before flipping to seal the other side. Duck legs can be slow cooked in much the same way as a lamb shank, and a whole duck is cooked exactly the same as a whole chicken. We've got plenty of duck recipes below, including a light, velvety duck parfait, easy duck confit, and classic roast duck with apple brandy sauce.

Some of the most well-known duck dishes in the United Kingdom come straight from the menu of every Chinese takeaway – but duck is actually a much more versatile meat than you might think. It has a rich, distinctive flavour that means you can serve it as the star of the dish with a light salad and zingy dressing, or pan-fried with some herbs – or, you can serve it alongside something with bags of flavour, such as apple brandy sauce, orange sauce or even bramble sauce to cut through all that richness.

Rendering duck fat is also much simpler than you might think. Duck breasts should just be cooked on a medium heat, skin side down, for 6-7 minutes. The fat will render down from the duck – meaning that you're left with lots of melted duck fat in the pan. All you need to do then is pour the duck fat into an airtight jar and keep in the fridge – use it for amazing duck fat roasted potatoes!

Duck is much easier to cook than you might think, and it's incredibly versatile – so use some of the recipes above for inspiration and get cooking this amazing meat!