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Duck lends itself to a wide array of preparations. Italians typically roast young ducks whole, while older ducks are cut into pieces and braised. Boneless duck breasts are sautéed or grilled. Traditional garnitures include olives or fruits such as oranges, figs, and cherries.

Duck livers may also be used in the preparation of pâtés and terrines. The gizzards may be cooked as confit and thinly sliced for salad. The skins can be used as cracklings. Duck fat may be saved and used for the preparation of many dishes, such as duck prosciutto. The carcasses may also be used for stocks and consommés.