Duck Hunting Super Fun / Duck Eating Super Gross:

Hooops

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Nov 26, 2005
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OK - I recently - last 3 years - have gotten the Duck Hunting bug - as my brother joined one of those high-brow clubs in Prado Basin.

The experience of finding a favorite gun or two, hunting with my brother early am or afternoon, calling birds, shooting birds, dog assassins - I really dig all that.

But the honest truth is ducks taste like shit - tried a zillion different duck poppers, duck breast, duck legs - wrapped in every pork product imaginable, etc. Fried duck, grilled duck. Eating what is supposed to be the best ducks that fly - no shit birds - but all these supposed "good tasting" duck - are not simply not good...

What duck recipe will make me more excited to clean these birds?
 
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downtime

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This is the best tasting duck I have had. Bacon wrapped duck brest with cream cheese and jalapeño.


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Blackfish

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Hoops, Agree....I'm with you. I'm still trying. So far, my dogs have enjoyed them, and I even fed some to the two bull frogs that live in my pond. LOL no BS.

My first mistake, was trying the Spooner. I gaged. LOL Now its hard to get the Spoon out of my brain. But I need to try some different recipes...but most call for plum or orange or cranberry marinade sauce crap...which I can;t stand either. LOL
 
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Blackfish

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HAVE to be cooked rare!Over cook them and you will hate them.Tom


That may be part of my problem. Thanks for the tip.

Has anyone made jerky out of the breast?
 
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Arima-bob

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Cut the breast into nuggets and use shake and bake. Ate duck that way as a kid and loved it! duck, doves, geese, all mixed in.
 
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Aggro

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Carl

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  • Nov 29, 2004
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    That may be part of my problem. Thanks for the tip.

    Has anyone made jerky out of the breast?
    Yes.
    It makes excellent jerky. A little teriyaki and some black pepper is a good combo.
    Duck jerky is how I've eaten most of the duck I've eaten in the last 10 yrs.
    It's good smoked too.
     
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    Sluester

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    This is how I prepare them.
    Breast them out and put in water. Squeeze as much blood as you can out of them emptying and refilling the water. You'll see a big difrerence in color.
    I use Bernsteins Italian dressing with garlic as a marinade for as long as overnight, but a couple hours will do.
    Throw them on the grill or cook them with a lil olive oil on the stove. Seasoning sakt and pepper to taste. If they taste like liver you over cooked tgem. As stated, Medium is best.
    I could get into dry ageing them but that's a lot of time.
     
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    sitonmyface

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    I always brined my Salton Sea birds.........at least the sprig and wig. Did the jalapeno popper thing all that kind of garbage. One of my favorites though was a simple stir fry......brown the breasts in a little oil/chopped garlic, dump in some hoisin sauce and mushrooms broccoli red onion and udon noodles. Delish. Everything else went into the sausage/jerky pile.

    The rice fed mallard/wig/sprig taste like beef to me. Salt and pepper throw them on the grill. Delish. And the specks.......basically they're a mouth orgasm.
     
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    Blackfish

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    If they taste like liver you over cooked tgem. As stated, Medium is best.
    I could get into dry ageing them but that's a lot of time.

    Yep..the taste and texture...in fact, it was worse then liver. LOL
     
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    Carl

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  • Nov 29, 2004
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    simmer them in chicken fat for hours until they fall apart like pot roast.....damn good
    Some of us are proud of and want to keep our chiseled physique.....
     
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    Chompot

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    Lots of ways to cook them and make them taste delicious.

    In the most basic recommendation.... I soak in milk for 2 days, it draws the blood out. Change the milk after day 1, do this in the fridge in a zip lock container.

    From there season to your taste.... Do not overcock!!! Pink is good. Blood is good. These aren't farm raised birds, don't be scared.

    Another option is let the sit in the fridge belly up for a week to 10 days.... age the meat. I have some big ducks in the fridge still from the day before thanksgiving.

    Remember these birds fly a long way to get to socal. Preparing wild meat can be a chore at times, but very worth it in the end.

    Jerky, stir fry, and poppers all taste great if prepared correctly.
    My wife has told me a spoony once tasted like filet mignon... so I am doing something right.

    .... oh yeah... Prado Basin clubs and high brow in the same sentence is funny...
     
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    Ali

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    It's pretty simple. If it tastes like shit, you overcooked it.

    RARE is the key. Any of the recipes above will work.

    Some people just can't bring themselves to cook things rare (READ: JASON).

    That said, I just don't eat a ton of them. A few times a year and I'm good.

    I always have plenty of Elk or fish on hand and while duck is pretty good, it's not on par with a wahoo fillet.
     
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    stevefwolfe

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    The only way I eat duck is if it is still bleeding on the plate. I do clean them quickly then soak in brine for 4 hours. Light soy and garlic dip while cooking. I have found the best way to get a good sear on them is in a very large cast iron skillet that is very hot. Brush with oil and sear fast.
    good eats!!!
     
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    mattbush

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    I think it's the birds. Sometimes all you get are flying liver, cat/dog food. If the bird has flown like hell and burned off all its fat and is burning through muscle to fly, it's not going to taste as good. Sometimes all you get are birds that are totally full of oats and other grains that haven't flown too far yet and taste delicious.

    I cook them rare every time and eat the whole bird (sometimes begrudgingly), so I know it's not a matter of how they are cooked.

    I haven't gotten into brining, but I imagine there is a lot you can there do to get the lactic acid out of the muscles and get the liver taste out of the bird.
     
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    dave_k

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    I'm no expert, but brining is key. I brine mine for 2 days (changing out the brine a few times) before freezing. Milk works great too. It pulls the blood out and the lactic acid in the milk helps tenderize the meat.

    If it's tasting like shit when wrapped in bacon, you're doing something wrong. I made a bunch of poppers for thanksgiving appetizers for a bunch of picky eaters and they devoured them. Cut one side of a teal breast into 3 peices, place a slice of jalapeño and dab of cream cheese on it, then wrap with a 1/2 slice of bacon. Stick with a toothpick, and grill till the bacon is done. Pics below.
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    I've also made a batter and done it like chicken fried steak (after a day soak in milk) and it was good too. Still cooked med/rare though.
     
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    surfgoose

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    You are getting good suggestions here, I especially agree with soaking the breasts at least overnight in salted water or milk before trying to cook them the various ways. But if you are hunting down here in Southern California please remember that the air temperature is really pretty warm even on a winter day, and that duck that you shot at first light will taste a whole lot better if you take a moment when the first hour of shooting slows down to remove the guts, and put the bird in the cooler bag with your lunch. And put them in the ice chest you have waiting back at the vehicle, rather than in a plastic trashbag for the trip home. If you put a half-dozen warm ducks in a plastic bag so you don't get your vehicle bloody and then drive and unload and finally get around to dressing-out the birds that afternoon, you have pretty much ruined the meat. Duck feathers are a much better heat insulator than a rabbits' fur, and you wouldn't treat your rabbits that way would you?
     
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    Blackfish

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    This is a good thread. Thanks for getting it going Hoops, and thanks to all who have chimed in. This is all new to me. I am going to brine the breast i have, tonight. I pulled this simple recipe up for brining.

    I like to eat what i kill, but so far, I have made nothing but frog and dog food, ha. So this topic has been very helpful.

    http://foodforhunters.blogspot.com/2012/04/brining-wild-duck.html
     
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    Chompot

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    I have a question for the guys that have never quite enjoyed the duck they cook....

    Do you enjoy cooking when it is not wild meat? Meaning, does your wife, or someone else in the household cook most meals?

    I ask this because I have had people who really don't cook often try to cook wild meat just because they felt obliged because they killed the animal. Truth is these people don't know a difference between cooking a filet mignon, new york, or a tri tip and chances are their store bought steaks taste like crap anyways.

    Macho man syndrome aside... take a look and see if you even enjoy cooking, bbqing, food prep , etc.... some people might better off doing the prep part and having the cook in the house do the rest.

    OR maybe this is an intro to cooking for you. Chalk the bad meals up as experience and try not to blame the animal (although I can agree some taste better than others)
     
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    Hooops

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Nov 26, 2005
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    17ft Whaler Montauk - "TYFISH"
    I do enjoy cooking whether I get to kill the cow or buy it from the store.

    My hurdle with duck is the processes to make them table ready just seems excessive. I mean I can wrap fecal matter in bacon with cream cheese and jalapeno and have folks raving about them.

    I do appreciate all these other pointers and recipes - I will keep trying...
     
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    Chompot

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    Just for reference and maybe motivation to get it right.... I almost never use bacon. I do make the poppers during the right bbq party or something, but in my opinion pan seared they should taste delicious, if not, something was either up with the duck, prep, or cooking.

    Once you get it I don't think it is very hard or time consuming at all.
     
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