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5 Unexpected Wild Duck Recipes

by Hank Shaw   |  March 12th, 2013 1

I love eating ducks and geese—so much that I wrote an entire cookbook titled Duck, Duck, Goose, which is dedicated to wildfowl and comes out this fall. Given that fact, you can imagine my disappointment when I’m hunkered down in a duck blind with a fellow hunter and I hear what’s become an all-too-common refrain, “Yeah man, I love hunting ducks! Can’t stand eating them, though.”

Typically those guys either give away their ducks or have them all made into jerky or sausage. That’s OK, and far better than the illegal practice of “ditch cleaning”—tossing the ducks into the nearest ditch—which one hears about from time to time. But as much as I love sausage and jerky, there are far better ways to cook the ducks you bring home after a long day’s hunt.

Seared, skin-on duck breast is one of the great things in the culinary world: It’s like a perfect steak, wearing a hat made of bacon. Even skinless duck breasts can be made magical. And slow-cooked duck legs, with the meat pulled from the bone, make some of the best BBQ, carnitas or tacos around. Likewise, a Thermos full of piping hot duck broth will warm you up even on the coldest morning in the blind. I am also totally convinced that the aroma of duck broth brings in the birds, because every time I drink some, they bomb in, feet down into the decoys.

What follows are five wild duck recipes to make eating your birds a highlight of your hunting—not just an obligation.

  • Idaho Bob

    I can’t wait to try out the duck burgers. Think I’ll try it this weekend.

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