Stuffed wild duck
One of my most enjoyable moments of any hunt does not occur in the field but in the kitchen. There is nothing like preparing wild game you have harvested, especially if you get to enjoy it with family and friends.
When it comes to preparing wild game many species have received a bad rap with even avid outdoorsmen believing they are “too gamey” for the family dinner table. Unfortunately ducks are at the top of this list. But this does not need to be the case. Will it is true any game, including ducks, can take on a strong and even unpleasant flavor this is usually due to handling and preparation – not the animal itself.
Try this recipe, along with some tips for preparation, and see if duck doesn’t become a favorite meal at your house.
Use fresh meat. Clean and prepare wild game as soon as possible and the flavor will be at its best.
Thoroughly clean the animal. Much of the gamey flavor is do to improperly cleaned meat so make sure all feathers, entrails and blood is removed.
Do not treat like domestic meat. Wild game is not the same as that raised on the farm. Wild ducks for instance tend to have less body fat, thus they cook quicker and dry out if treated like farm raised duck.
Start with “eating friendly species”. Some duck tend to vary in taste due to their diet , with those eating a grain heavy diet being milder. I recommend mallards for your first attempt at a wild duck dinner – not only are they a better tasting duck, they are also one of the most plentiful.
Fruity roast duck
1 Duck (mallard will feed 2-3 adults)
1 Orange, whole
1 Apple, chopped
1 Onion, chopped
1 Carrot, chopped fine
1 Cup butter
2 Cups Croutons
4 Slices bacon, raw
Pluck and clean duck, insuring to remove all pin feathers. Soak in cold water for 4 hours.
Sauté onion in butter until soft. Add apple, carrot and croutons and continue to sauté until 4-5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Remove duck from water, pat dry inside and out. Squeeze juice of 1/2 orange into body cavity and squeeze juice of other 1/2 on outer surface. Stuff with crouton mixture. Drape bacon across breast. You will cook breast side up.
Cover loosely with foil and cook at 350 degrees. Cook time will vary but generally 25 minutes per pound will suffice. When breast skin is golden brown and juice run clear the bird is done. If you prefer the skin a bit crisper you can remove foil during last 10-15 minutes of cooking.
Excellent when served with a side of wild rice – the duck’s favorite meal!