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Thread: How to cook a duck

  1. #1
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Default How to cook a duck

    I'm not much of a waterfowler. I'm a rank novice but I see myself enjoying more of it in the future. I do, however, know how to cook.

    Some of you out there are stuck between your love of the hunt and your distaste for the duck. My guess is you're doing it wrong (cooking the duck, that is).

    Please allow me to help.

    Wild fowl should generally NOT be fully cooked. Rare-ish is best, flavor and texture wise.

    Erik's Dabbler* with Alaskan Wild-berry Ragout

    -Prep two duck breasts (pluck, remove pellets, rinse, pat dry) but leave the skin on
    -Smear a heavy skillet (cast iron is best) with a thin coat of bacon fat and set on med-high heat
    -Season flesh-side of breast with kosher or sea salt and a bit of pepper
    -When bacon grease begins to smoke place breasts in skillet SKIN SIDE DOWN.
    -DO NOT TOUCH breasts for 8 minutes--if heat is too high lower of remove pan for bit but don't reposition breasts
    -Check your watch and at 8 minutes turn breasts and cook for another 6 minutes

    -At 6 minutes check for browness, cook another minute if needed then remove to plate to rest. Turn heat down to medium.
    -While meat rests, deglaze pan with a splash of water and a 1/4 stick of butter
    -As soon as butter melts add 1/4 cup thinly sliced mushrooms (I like boletes from my yard-but again, whatever you like) saute until tender (2-3 minutes)
    -Add 1/3 cup red wine (whatever you like) and a pinch of thyme.
    -Once wine reduces (about 2-3 min) add 1/4 cup mixed wild berries (I like blue, black currants, & highbush cranberry--whatever you like) and cook until berries begin to break down (another 2-3 min)
    -Turn heat to lowest setting and taste-test (add salt if desired)

    Now, remove the skin from the breasts and slice them across the grain on the bias (like London Broil). The meat should be a bit bloody. Plate slices next to your favorite side dish (wild rice is perfect) and spoon ragout over slices.

    Enjoy!

    *whatever sort of duck you have...
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

  2. #2
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    Default Au contraire . . . it's okra that is perfect . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik in AK View Post
    . . Plate slices next to your favorite side dish (wild rice is perfect) . .
    Wild duck breasts, sliced thin, and fried rare are why God made fried okra.

  3. #3

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    I usually make mine into stew meat. Before I cook it, I soak it in Yoshida marinade sauce mixed with half water overnight... usually makes it to the point where it takes like any other sort of meat. I have a lot more fun hunting them than I do eating them... I'm getting pretty tired of eating stew! I will have to try this sometime and see if it sparks up a new favorite..

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    Member duckslayer56's Avatar
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    I am going to drop about 20 pounds of duck breast off at pioneer meats and see if they can make me some of that jalapeno and mozzerella summer sausage out of it.

    I usually make stew, or jerky as well. But I have discovered this Wonnies Korean BBQ sauce that is delicious on duck. I grill it after soaking in it for a while.

    I guess I am one of the few guys who does like to eat duck.
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    That sounds good... I love the stuff brother..My kids love the hearts and gizzards. They enjoy reaching their hands in there and rip the hearts out..lol Fun watching them the first time and was kind of joking to her..

    Try wraping them in bacon after soaking them in BBQ sauce overnight, or cut in thin slices and feep fry with some OKRA..lol

    I have cooked them about a 100 different ways..but my favorite is over an open fire after chasing them all day.

    Quote Originally Posted by duckslayer56 View Post
    I am going to drop about 20 pounds of duck breast off at pioneer meats and see if they can make me some of that jalapeno and mozzerella summer sausage out of it.

    I usually make stew, or jerky as well. But I have discovered this Wonnies Korean BBQ sauce that is delicious on duck. I grill it after soaking in it for a while.

    I guess I am one of the few guys who does like to eat duck.
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    Member DucksAndDogs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    Wild duck breasts, sliced thin, and fried rare are why God made fried okra.
    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Marcus again.

  7. #7

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    Pluck whole duck. Smoke with hickory, apple whatever. Quarter and grill on bbq med rare.

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    I like and have cooked duck in a lot of ways, some mentioned...but my latest favorite thing to do with duck is to "corn" it. Soak it in a cornbeef (home made) brine for about 5-7 days, then either cook in crock pot or vac pack and freeze till later. If you like corned beef, you'll love this. Also makes killer sandwiches. Rye bread, sliced corned duck, little mozzerella and some thousand Island....wow.

    I also corn a lot of caribou, moose...etc, and use the tough cuts for it. I now keep the brisket meat out of the grind bag just for this.

  9. #9
    Member DucksAndDogs's Avatar
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    I've got several different ways I cook it, and I'm always open to new recipes. I really enjoy eating wild fowl. Heading home later this afternoon and getting everything ready for a hunt tomorrow morning. Hopefully I'll have a few I can start cooking. Last year's are gone!

  10. #10
    Member kwackkillncrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAllen View Post
    I like and have cooked duck in a lot of ways, some mentioned...but my latest favorite thing to do with duck is to "corn" it. Soak it in a cornbeef (home made) brine for about 5-7 days, then either cook in crock pot or vac pack and freeze till later. If you like corned beef, you'll love this. Also makes killer sandwiches. Rye bread, sliced corned duck, little mozzerella and some thousand Island....wow.

    I also corn a lot of caribou, moose...etc, and use the tough cuts for it. I now keep the brisket meat out of the grind bag just for this.
    now whats the point of calling it duck if it is marinating for 5-7 days? I just dont understand some people when they say they make the best duck and by the time they are done it dont even taste like duck any more! guess i am one of them crazies that like that gamey taste
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    Member akdodger's Avatar
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    Cooking up 7 mallard breasts as a gumbo as I type...

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    Wild duck breasts, sliced thin, and fried rare are why God made fried okra.
    God didn't make okra. Satan snuck that in on the sly...

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    Default Creole or Cajun . . ?

    Quote Originally Posted by akdodger View Post
    Cooking up 7 mallard breasts as a gumbo as I type...
    Got into a big discussion once with a guy. We concluded that if the gumbo was thickened with a roux, it was a Creole gumbo; if thickened with okra, it was a Cajun gumbo.

  14. #14
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Plain old duck (and I mean pond fed dabblers, not fish duck) is good in soup without doing anything to it. My Eskimo MIL cooks it superbly with vegetables and macaroni.

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    Wink O ye of little taste . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    God didn't make okra. Satan snuck that in on the sly...
    Anyone who doesn't appreciate okra probably thinks halibut is real tasty too . .

  16. #16
    Member akdodger's Avatar
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    Creole.... But it's my first whack at it... We shall see.

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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by akdodger View Post
    Creole.... But it's my first whack at it... We shall see.
    Keep us posted . .

  18. #18
    Member DucksAndDogs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    Anyone who doesn't appreciate okra probably thinks halibut is real tasty too . .

    "You guys are out of catfish? Ok, I guess I'll have the halibut, then!"

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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by DucksAndDogs View Post
    "You guys are out of catfish? Ok, I guess I'll have the halibut, then!"
    . . . . bingo. Nobody eats either . . they eat what's on it . . no flavor otherwise . .

  20. #20
    Member Gr is for Greg's Avatar
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    I've had duck all different ways, but I agree that a lot of recipes people have for duck or for various other wild game tends to overwhelm the actual taste of the animal. I love the taste of duck, and I've found that a lot of other people do as well. The trick to duck, or for any other game I've found, is DO NOT OVERCOOK IT. You can overcook domestic meat (I'll have my steak well-done please), and it won't taste terrible because it has too much fat in it. Cooking lean meat (which is anything wild by default), you don't have that fat. If you cook it too much (and medium-well is too much), it will come out dry, chewy, and gamey.

    My favorite way to do duck is to pluck them and clean them, leaving the skin on and the main carcass intact. Then I hit the top with seasonings - salt, pepper, herbs, maybe a little cajun spice if you're so inclined - then I stick it on a rack and roast it in the oven. Again, this recipe will probably taste like sh** if you leave it in there too long. A duck is a lot smaller than a chicken. It's better to undercook it. Odds are you're eating a bird that was flying earlier that day, so I wouldn't worry too much about spoiled meat.

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