Lucy's first Duck - it was delicious! Recipe included
We've been walking the Knik Flats for the last few weeks. We aren't seeing a tremendous amount of birds like we do in the spring. Over twenty-five years of training dogs for field trails and hunt tests and never going hunting, our 6 yr old Lucy had her first wild duck retrieve. It was a textbook, hunt test walk up single. We were walking long the Knik Flats near Pt MacKenzie, and had seen some ducks paddling along the shoreline, 20 feet below. We thought that if we split up one of us might spook the flock up to the other and get a shot. The tide was really slacking so I felt confident Lucy could make a water retrieve safely, if necessary. “Bang, bang, bang”, I turned on the second bang to see Charlie hit a Teal, it folded and dropped on land about 40 yards away.
Lucy sat! Training with the live pigeon flyers a few weeks ago stuck with her. “Lucy!’ Off she went and ran around frantically. Unlike the white pigeons, this bird blended right into the sparse cover. After a few frantic passes, she found it and delivered it to hand. We had to have a little photo shoot.
Now what to do with the duck.
Berry Good Marinated Wild Duck
It’s been a while since I had duck and I had been disappointed in how dry and liver-y it tasted. This bird even smelled like the silty, brackish inlet water. It turned out to be wonderful and not gamey at all. I think most recipes instruct to over cook game birds. After this I will never ruin game birds again.
This recipe also was very good with last year’s grouse that had been in the freezer waiting for more to make a meal. The wild berries are very strong in flavor and may counter any “gamey” taste.
Marinate: 2 cups strained wild berry juice- currant, high or low bush cranberry, wild raspberry or a mixture. High bush and low bush (Lingon berries) are plentiful this year. Just add a little water to a sauce pan, simmer until they start popping open and mash. Strain through a wire strainer and refrigerate or freeze.
• Alaskan honey to taste
• Hot sauce or Asian chili powder to taste
• 1/3 cup of Basil infused vinegar (cover fresh basil leaves with white vinegar, let it sit for at least 2 weeks)
• 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
• Salt, pepper to taste
• Simmer to blend and let cool.
Cleaned Duck or other wild bird parts, boned or bone-in.
Marinate for 5 hours in a non-reactive bowl turning periodically. Reserve the marinade for later.
Mix enough flour to coat the pieces with salt, pepper, fresh chopped or dry thyme, and onion powder.
2 tbs, olive oil, 1 tsp. butter in a non-reactive skillet. Heat to sizzling point.
Dredge bird pieces to coat and fry to a golden brown on all sides until medium done.
To retain the crispy coating remove and eat. The little breast tenders didn't make it any farther. We had to "test" it.
Remove to a plate and cover. Add sliced carrots and potatoes to the pan with a small amount of water, cover and cook until done. Add chopped celery, mushrooms, onions, sauté, to your preference and return bird pieces to the pan. Wisk a teaspoon of flour into the marinade. Add 1/4 cup of Soy Sauce to the marinade and pour in to the pan and heat, marinade will reduce and thicken slightly. Serve immediately.
High bush cranberry is really good on ducks....mmmmm..
I just broil the breasts w/ salt & pepper and glaze with the cranberry. That marinade does sound good though...My wife made a ton of fireweed honey that I should use.
doesn't matter to me, but Lucy's got a mallard in her mouth, not a teal
Cutter You are the bird ID winner!
I have listened to someone else on the ID-ing. I thought Teals were a lot smaller. Still tasted good.