One of the least well-understood parts of Resident Evil Village, at time of writing, is the cooking upgrades. You can deliver meat, fish, and poultry to the Duke, the game’s lovable merchant, in exchange for getting a helping of tasty local cuisine.
These apply permanent upgrades for Ethan, such as increased health or minimized damage when blocking attacks, which carry over between runs through the game.
How to Cook Finest Fish, Quality Meat, & Juicy Game
You acquire these cooking ingredients by hunting animals, which begin to show up in various parts of the map once you return from Castle Dimitrescu. Some are hidden as if they’re secret resources, but many more are simply frolicking out in the open.
However, the option to cook them up isn’t initially available, and that’s where the problems have started. You start finding animals to hunt slightly before you unlock the option to turn the meat over to Duke, which has confused a lot of players into selling their poultry, meat, and/or fish rather than using it on recipes.
Since there are only a set number of animals on the map and you need virtually all of them to cook all six of Duke’s available recipes, vendoring even one piece of fish or poultry will keep you from getting one of those much-needed upgrades.
You’re supposed to carry the ingredients around with you until you find the second part of the Winged Key, whereupon you’ll be advised to return to Duke. At that point, he should reveal his side hustle. Short version: never sell food to the Duke until you’ve cooked all six recipes.
Here’s where you can find Fish, Meat, and Poultry throughout Resident Evil Village‘s, uh, village. Naturally, some minor spoilers are involved.
If you’ve got inventory problems, you can give food to Duke for “safe-keeping” by devoting it to your next targeted recipe. Duke will hold onto it for next time, and you don’t have to waste valuable attache-case space on a giant haunch of fresh goat.
Any animals you find are immediately labeled on your map, much in the same way as wells or locked doors are. If you’ve cleared out a given animal spawn point, the icon will automatically get X’d out and that area will stay clear of further animals for the remainder of your playthrough.
How to Find Fish
You can kill fish with one hit from any weapon. They’re slippery enough that you might be better off using a handgun than a knife.
Three fish are in the water in the tunnel south of the Craftsman’s House, which you pass through after defeating Alcina Dimitrescu. Since this tunnel locks back down after you leave it, these can’t be picked up later.
Three fish move into the river under the drawbridge to Castle Dimitrescu after you’ve defeated Alcina.
After you defeat Moreau, backtrack to where you found the fishing boat and you can explore the lakebed on foot. Among other things, there’s a pool down here with two lungfish, which are worth 2 units of Fish each when killed. Since the elevator to the surface breaks down after you return to the village from the Reservoir, these fish are also impossible to get afterwards.
There are two normal fish in the hidden pool with the Phantom Fish (see below).
How to Find Poultry
Chickens die with one hit from any weapon, like fish. They’re faster and less predictable than fish, however. Crouch if you plan to knife-fight a chicken, as they’re short enough to make hitting them while standing difficult.
Two chickens can be found in the small locked area behind the church, which is accessible once you have the Iron Insignia Key.
Two chickens spawn in a small dead-end alley off the southwestern part of the Fallow Plot. This is harder to reach than it sounds; depending on when you come back here, there are either four raven monsters or an optional miniboss lurking around.
There are three chickens outside the house with a red chimney.
Two chickens are hiding in an east-facing dead end in the Reservoir, just outside the sluice control room and east from the wrecked truck.
You can reach two incredibly well-secured chickens when you return to the village after the reservoir, by using your crank to open the mechanical door they’re hiding behind.
How to Find Meat
This is a catch-all term that applies to both pigs and goats. (And honestly, probably people. I don’t trust that meat cache at Otto’s Farm.)
Unlike fish and chicken, pigs and goats both have a bit of health, so it’s worth hauling out your sniper rifle to deal with them. The goats will actually fight back if you give them half a chance.
Pigs and goats are rarer than fish or chicken, but are worth 2 units of Meat each when killed.
If you backtrack to the southernmost house in West Old Town, which you passed through during your initial arrival to the village, a single pig has taken up residence in its stable. I like to pretend his name is Jumpscare, because he’ll charge you and inflict a little damage if you take a step towards him.
A goat likes to hang out in the Garden on the path between the village and House Beneviento. It’s only there after you’ve defeated Donna and Angie.
In a sign that nature is healing, two goats appear in the village’s graveyard when you return after defeating Moreau.
There’s a pig in the yard of Otto’s Farm, an optional area that’s accessible when you unlock the path to the Stronghold.
If you take on the optional area Otto’s Farm, which becomes available once you defeat Moreau, you can collect 2 Meat, 1 Fish, and 1 Poultry from his back room. I’m sure there’s nothing wrong with any of it.
How to Find Finest Fish, Quality Meat, Juicy Game
There are three unique ingredients that are required to craft the three biggest upgrades on the Duke’s recipe list: Finest Fish, Quality Meat, and Juicy Game. These take a little more hunting than your standard-issue animals, and each one is effectively hidden.
Their locations are hinted at by the photo key items, which can be found in the outhouse behind the gardener’s shack on the path to House Beneviento, inside a cell in the hidden dungeon accessible via the Stronghold, and in the windmill that houses the elevator to the Reservoir.
You don’t have to find these photos in order for the rare animals to spawn; they’re strictly here as clues.
The Juicy Game is technically available as soon as you reach the village itself, although it’s hard to spot.
There’s a blue bird roosting in a tree above the village’s graveyard, near the door to the castle. Shoot it down to loot the Game.
The Quality Meat can be found as soon as you get back from Castle Dimitrescu. If you return to the shack outside Luiza’s house where you met Elena, there’s a white pig running around the well in the clearing behind it. Kill it and loot it for the Quality Meat.
Finally, finding the Finest Fish takes some work, and you can’t get it until after you’ve completed the Reservoir. Use the Crank to lower the Drawbridge on the east side of the village, then circle around to get to the fishing boat.
Take the boat south along the river until you find another dock. Disembark and go around the nearby blockade to the south, where you’ll find a golden fish swimming in an isolated pond. Take in its wonder and beauty, then shoot it to obtain the Finest Fish.
All Recipes (for Disaster)
The Duke is apparently giving the keto diet a shot. Sorry, vegans. Here are all of his recipes and their effects.
Herbed Fish: 3 Fish, 2 Poultry. Slightly increases maximum health.
Bird and Beast Pilaf: 4 Poultry, 1 Meat. Decreases damage taken when blocking.
Three-Flavored Mititei: 4 Fish, 2 Poultry, 3 Meat. Increases maximum health.
Tochitura de Pui: 4 Poultry, 3 Meat, 1 Juicy Game. Greatly increases maximum health.
Ciorba de Porc: 1 Fish, 5 Meat, 1 Quality Meat. Greatly decreases damage taken when blocking.
Sarmale de Peste: 6 Fish, 1 Finest Fish. Movement speed permanently increases. It’s not much, but it’s enough that you’ll notice.
To get all six upgrades, you’ll need 11 Fish, 12 Poultry, 12 Meat, and the three special ingredients. That leaves you with almost no flex room; you can get all six cooking upgrades on a single blind run through the game, but it’s unlikely unless you know exactly where to look or you’re exceptionally thorough.
So far, it seems that once you’ve cooked all six recipes, all the ingredients effectively become vendor trash. There’s nothing else you can do with them after that point.
Bon appetit. Now you know how to hunt all of the Resident Evil Village animals and find the ingredients for Duke’s recipes. Please, enjoy the rest of Resident Evil Village by checking out the rest of our tips and guides.