Utah Wildlife Forum banner
1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello waterfowl hunters!! I am getting excited for the upcoming waterfowl season and was curious what everyone's favorite type of duck is, and what types they avoid? Then if you're willing to share your favorite recipe that would be awesome.

I myself always love a good roasted mallard. Here's a recipe I used last year: Kentuckyaki Roasted Duck Under a Brick

This last year up at Scofield after my deer hunt I had a few extra days and I brought my shotgun and I shot two mergansers.. I had never taken a merganser and should have googled how they table fared before, but I cooked up the breasts one of my go-to camp ways by cooking some bacon then pan searing the breasts in the bacon oil, and wow those mergansers are not good, and I will be passing them up from now on. I definitely learned they were not good the hard way, but I choked them down since I had taken them and I try to never be wasteful with game I take!

Any comments on your favorite type of duck and your favorite recipes are much appreciated. Good luck this season!!!

PS Here is a pic of the two mergansers-- they are gorgeous birds, but not great table faring.
149067
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,636 Posts
GWT
Mallard

I make teriyaki duck steak bowls, breast it out, cook it medium rare, slice and put on a bed of vegetables and rice, lightly drizzle teriyaki sauce. It’s simple and delicious.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,463 Posts
I have to laugh every time I see a tale about how 'nasty' mergs are for table fair. Like any food, it's all in the preperation and presentation. I have most deffinitely eaten mergs and will do so again. The recipe is very simple and I have converted several folks who almost needed a gun pointed at their heads to get them to try it. They all ate seconds until it was all gone.

PS: Our favorite is Teal above all others.

Here is the recipe:

Dubob's Duck Nuggets said:
Duck Nuggets*

Ingredients

Duck breast; cubed.
Raw scrambled egg
Sour Cream & Onion Potato Chips; finely crushed
Wingers Amazing Sauce

Preparation

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Breast out ducks and remove all skin and fat. Cut into 1 inch cubes. Coat each cube in raw scrambled egg. Crush chips as finely as you can; a rolling pin works well for this. Coat each egg dipped cube with crushed chips. Place chip coated cubes on baking sheet. Place filled baking sheet in 350 degree oven for EXACTLEY 20 minutes. Remove from oven and serve immediately with Wingers Amazing Sauce for dipping.

* This recipe will work with any waterfowl species, including Mergansers. Just be sure that ALL skin and fat have been removed before coating and cooking.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jessssand

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have to laugh every time I see a tale about how 'nasty' mergs are for table fair. Like any food, it's all in the preperation and presentation. I have most deffinitely eaten mergs and will do so again. The recipe is very simple and I have converted several folks who almost needed a gun pointed at their heads to get them to try it. They all ate seconds until it was all gone.

PS: Our favorite is Teal above all others.

Here is the recipe:
I am not to proud to admit that my preparation might not have been top notch when I prepared them! I will for sure give your recipe a try! Thanks for the share!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,205 Posts
GWT hands down! I can carry or sled a limit out super easy as opposed to lugging out a limit of mallards…although shooting a limit of greenheads is VERY satisfying.

Our favorite method is to pound the breast flat, spread a layer of cream cheese, add a roasted jalapeño slice, roll up, and then roll a slice of bacon around the whole thing and pin it with a toothpick. Cook medium rare on the grill, and you’re set. My kids request it!

You can also marinade the breast beforehand, but I don’t find it really necessary.
 

·
Member
Joined
·
1,682 Posts
Remember Opinions are all subjective.

Best to Least Best Based on my experience.

It also comes down to what the duck has been eating.

As will be mentioned in the list, Field ducks taste a hell of a lot better than river ducks.
  1. Canvasback (10/10)
  2. Field Mallards (10/10)
  3. Pintail (10/10)
  4. Redhead (9/10)
  5. Green Wing Teal (9/10)
  6. Ruddy Duck (8/10)
  7. Widgeon (8/10)
  8. Coot (8/10)
  9. Gadwall (7/10)
  10. Blue Wing Teal (7/10)
  11. Cinnamon Teal (7/10)
  12. Ringneck Duck (6/10)
  13. River Mallards (5/10)
  14. Buffelheads (5/10)
  15. Lesser Scaup (5/10)
  16. Common Goldeneye (1/10)
  17. Common Merganser (1/10)
  18. Barrows Goldeneye (1/10)
As far as recipes, most people mess up duck. Medium rare is the ticket when cooking.

Hank Shaw has many wonderful recipes for ducks, but some of his ingredients can require a trip to a store and some stores do not carry all of them.


If you have the time and can obtain the ingredients, these recipes are the bees knees for ducks and geese.

Now, if you do not have the time or the ingredients to go the Hank Shaw route, then this is what I do.

Sausage
Jerky
  • For Jerky, the duck must be at least 5/10. Nothing worse that a smoker or oven that smells of Goldeneye or Merganser. I cut thin muscle cuts and use waltons seasoning. I haven't made Jerky for a few years, but it is an option none the less. Walton's also makes great seasoning for it. I know it seems like this is an advertizement for walton's, but you can get other seasonings at sportsmans and they will work just fine. I generally just prefer to order online and have had great success with Waltons.
Pan Frying
  • This can work for all species of ducks. I cut the breast as thin with a knife, then marinade in Lowry's Teriyaki. Olive oil and flash fry the ducks in shot oil. You can also brine (Salt/Sugar/Water and a touch of apple cider vinegar) the duck meat in salt/sugar water before marinading, but I don't think it is necessary. This is a very simple method that yields great results.
Flying Liver and Onions
  • If you are camping and do not have access to a grocery store, this could be money. I would not recommend with anything below 5/10. Slice the duck like Liver and put in brine or salt water or Add Oil to pan and heat, Add Onions and cook until translucent, then rise duck meat and fry to brown all sides. Serve with Ketchup.
Giblets / Gravy
  • Too many people waste specifically duck hearts. You can skewer them like kabobs or you can make a Giblet gravy, which goes really well on top of mashed potatoes. Butter fry the giblets and then add water and flour to make the gravy. Its simple and a good way to use more of the duck. Which is giving you more bang for your buck, because the shotgun shells are not cheap.
Stock
  • Any duck 7/10 and above make really good stock. After you have taken the meat that you want off of the duck. Cook the bones in water to make stock. It is a really good way to add some homemade ingredients, because once again duck hunting is not cheap and you might as well get bang for your buck.
Grilling
  • Some people can do steaks, but I prefer Jalapeno poppers with duck. Just make sure you do not cook it too long. Duck poppers are great, but like most recipes do not use below 5/10 ducks. I slice and marinate the duck breast in Lowry's Teriyaki before using them in poppers. I also wrap bacon around the popper to try and keep in the moisture and who doesn't like Bacon.
Baking
  • Cubed Duck Meat marinaded in the Lowry's Teritaki and wrapped in Bacon. Bake at 350 until Medium Rare. It is also good and once again no ducks under 5/10 should be used.

Just remember to not overcook duck meat and you should be good to go
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Remember Opinions are all subjective.

Best to Least Best Based on my experience.

It also comes down to what the duck has been eating.

As will be mentioned in the list, Field ducks taste a hell of a lot better than river ducks.
  1. Canvasback (10/10)
  2. Field Mallards (10/10)
  3. Pintail (10/10)
  4. Redhead (9/10)
  5. Green Wing Teal (9/10)
  6. Ruddy Duck (8/10)
  7. Widgeon (8/10)
  8. Coot (8/10)
  9. Gadwall (7/10)
  10. Blue Wing Teal (7/10)
  11. Cinnamon Teal (7/10)
  12. Ringneck Duck (6/10)
  13. River Mallards (5/10)
  14. Buffelheads (5/10)
  15. Lesser Scaup (5/10)
  16. Common Goldeneye (1/10)
  17. Common Merganser (1/10)
  18. Barrows Goldeneye (1/10)
As far as recipes, most people mess up duck. Medium rare is the ticket when cooking.

Hank Shaw has many wonderful recipes for ducks, but some of his ingredients can require a trip to a store and some stores do not carry all of them.


If you have the time and can obtain the ingredients, these recipes are the bees knees for ducks and geese.

Now, if you do not have the time or the ingredients to go the Hank Shaw route, then this is what I do.

Sausage
Jerky
  • For Jerky, the duck must be at least 5/10. Nothing worse that a smoker or oven that smells of Goldeneye or Merganser. I cut thin muscle cuts and use waltons seasoning. I haven't made Jerky for a few years, but it is an option none the less. Walton's also makes great seasoning for it. I know it seems like this is an advertizement for walton's, but you can get other seasonings at sportsmans and they will work just fine. I generally just prefer to order online and have had great success with Waltons.
Pan Frying
  • This can work for all species of ducks. I cut the breast as thin with a knife, then marinade in Lowry's Teriyaki. Olive oil and flash fry the ducks in shot oil. You can also brine (Salt/Sugar/Water and a touch of apple cider vinegar) the duck meat in salt/sugar water before marinading, but I don't think it is necessary. This is a very simple method that yields great results.
Flying Liver and Onions
  • If you are camping and do not have access to a grocery store, this could be money. I would not recommend with anything below 5/10. Slice the duck like Liver and put in brine or salt water or Add Oil to pan and heat, Add Onions and cook until translucent, then rise duck meat and fry to brown all sides. Serve with Ketchup.
Giblets / Gravy
  • Too many people waste specifically duck hearts. You can skewer them like kabobs or you can make a Giblet gravy, which goes really well on top of mashed potatoes. Butter fry the giblets and then add water and flour to make the gravy. Its simple and a good way to use more of the duck. Which is giving you more bang for your buck, because the shotgun shells are not cheap.
Stock
  • Any duck 7/10 and above make really good stock. After you have taken the meat that you want off of the duck. Cook the bones in water to make stock. It is a really good way to add some homemade ingredients, because once again duck hunting is not cheap and you might as well get bang for your buck.
Grilling
  • Some people can do steaks, but I prefer Jalapeno poppers with duck. Just make sure you do not cook it too long. Duck poppers are great, but like most recipes do not use below 5/10 ducks. I slice and marinate the duck breast in Lowry's Teriyaki before using them in poppers. I also wrap bacon around the popper to try and keep in the moisture and who doesn't like Bacon.
Baking
  • Cubed Duck Meat marinaded in the Lowry's Teritaki and wrapped in Bacon. Bake at 350 until Medium Rare. It is also good and once again no ducks under 5/10 should be used.

Just remember to not overcook duck meat and you should be good to go
I really appreciate the time you took to share the info and recipes!! I will have to give some reports back in a few months after I start trying all of them.

Super interesting to me you have coot ranked 8/10. I have never personally eaten coot, and like most just assume they do not taste good because someone told me so (They probably haven't eaten coot either haha) What recipes do you use with coot? I was just watching a mini series on the meateater youtube page called 'Duck Camp Dinners' and they made a coot gumbo on there that looked fantastic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,463 Posts
Reading about all the different ducks being listed and some of the reports about taste, I was reminded of another thing that can be done with duck/goose meat that will completely camouflage the taste such that nobody will be able to tell it's made from waterfowl. This will work for ANY bird that can be legally take during waterfowl season. And, YES, that includes mergs & coots. You will need a meat grinder for either recipe. Take any & all the pure meat parts that you think is worth using from the waterfowl species making sure there isn’t any fat or skin included. Run the meat thru your meat grinder. I prefer a fine grind as opposed to a course grind. Put a little bit of your favorite cooking oil in a frying pan and cook the meat to well done. When it is completely cooked, use it in your favorite chili or taco meat recipe. I have served up duck/goose chili for years at potluck dinners and nobody has ever figured out it was made with duck/goose meat.

Another cooking method that eliminates most, if not all, of that ‘wild’ duck flavor is to pressure can the meat. I do the whole breast when canning, but it can be ground up first if you prefer. The whole breast will shred like well done pot roast when you take it out of the canning jar and you can add your favorite BBQ Sauce to the meat and have some of the best BBQ sandwiches you’ll ever eat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,463 Posts
Another grinder suggestion is to make Summer sausage and Bologna, it uses a lot of duck meat to stuff the casings. I just buy the LEM seasoning packets, add in some pork fat and put them in my smoker. Everyone enjoys them!
I have used Davis Custom Meats in Weber County for some of the best duck/goose salami I have ever eaten. Too darn lazy to make it myself - know what I mean Vern?
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
Top