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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I prefer to pluck my ducks and eat them whole. I find the hind quarters and the trunk to have a considerable amount of meat and are quite tasty, especially on a puddle duck. I would never think of leaving those parts in the marsh. If a bird is shot up or full of pin feathers I will skin them and then cut them into pieces.

I've often heard "There's nothing on a duck besides the breast." Again, there's a lot of meat on a duck besides the breast meat and to prove it I've butchered a young mallard and weighed all the parts. Here it is all broken down:



The whole mallard weighs 16oz; no giblets (neck, heart and gizzard), no liver, and the bones in the wings and legs were removed.

The breast, bone in, weighs 9oz:


The rest of the duck weighs 7oz:


Breast, boneless, weighs just under 8oz:


In this picture the legs and thighs and the trunk were removed from the carcass and weighed. Total weight is 5.5oz for the three edible portions of duck...not bad:


The back part of the carcass was also removed. There's only a small amount of meat on this part. Also find the breast bone in the lower right of the photo. There's usually a good amount of meat left on the bones when a duck is "breasted out, especially around the wishbone and shoulders.


The legs and thighs are my favorite part of a duck. They weighed 3oz on this young mallard drake:


So if you're jerkin' that breast out and tossin' the rest of the duck in the mud you're wasting about 33% of your tasty ducks.

Look at it this way: if you would keep all of the duck you'd only have to shoot 200 a year instead of 300. Think of the savings in shells, gas, Mojo batteries, and wear and tear on guns and equipment. I'm thinkin' you could fill the freezer by Thanksgiving and screw the duck hunting when it's cold and frozen up. :)

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Cool a cutting test on ducks! I think that is very interesting. I baked a couple mallards last year and they were good, I over cooked them just a tad but they made a nice meal.
 

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I thought you were talking about hitting a duck with a full load of HW13 at 10 yards :mrgreen: I never plucked a duck before I just skin them I think after reading this I am going to give a try thanks for the info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I thought you were talking about hitting a duck with a full load of HW13 at 10 yards :mrgreen: I never plucked a duck before I just skin them I think after reading this I am going to give a try thanks for the info.
Yeah, you're welcome. This is just one of the many public service announcements offered by the UWN.

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There is some meat on the trunk that I think is the best meat on any type of bird. I always grab that portion:)
 
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Duck fat is used as a butter replacement in gourmet French cuisine. They will take a whole duck, poke holes in the skin to penetrate the fat that's under the breast, and then sautee the duck breast down until the fat liquefies and drizzles out. Then you mix herbs and salt into the fat and let that simmer for a bit, ultimately using it as a sauce on the duck itself or on something else like potatoes.

This year I'm going to try the scalding method for plucking my ducks. I did breast out the first four but I was too tired to try and pluck them.
 

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If you want to pluck your ducks you could look into a whiz bang chicken plucker. There are kits online to make them. To put one together you will be into it about $350.

 

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If you want to pluck your ducks you could look into a whiz bang chicken plucker. There are kits online to make them. To put one together you will be into it about $350.

Good Lord:shock:
 

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That actually looks awesome! If I could get the wife to let me duck hunt more than a couple times a year I'd totally build one of those!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Duck fat is used as a butter replacement in gourmet French cuisine. They will take a whole duck, poke holes in the skin to penetrate the fat that's under the breast, and then sautee the duck breast down until the fat liquefies and drizzles out. Then you mix herbs and salt into the fat and let that simmer for a bit, ultimately using it as a sauce on the duck itself or on something else like potatoes.

This year I'm going to try the scalding method for plucking my ducks. I did breast out the first four but I was too tired to try and pluck them.
I'm in with duck butter from puddle ducks and geese especially if they've been on grain. And listen, you get a lot more and much better tasting duck butter from domestic ducks than from wild ducks.

I did "duck butter" on my last swan and it was really good. See post #6 here: https://utahwildlife.net/forum/26-recipes/101705-whole-swan-cookbook.html

Hey, Jedi, lets scald some ducks and add it to this thread. It's a mess, the way we did chickens, ducks, geese and guinea fowl back on the farm.

Shooting too many ducks? Just can't stop? Your dog won't eat them anymore? They burned all the phrag where ya hunt and you have no place to hide them? Geeze, just start plucking or scalding them; that'll keep ya from shooting so many. ha ha ha

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Also, you don't have to pluck them to use the thighs, legs, and wings. You can skin them and still get all these good bits. Here is a new recipe I just tried on a Gadwall I shot last weekend:

http://honest-food.net/2008/12/14/duck-pho-call-it-phuk/

It was phenomenal, uses the whole bird, and requires only skinning the bird, not plucking.
Uh yeah, my pictures show the thighs, legs, and wings skinned in this thread. I'm gonna try that one.

I really like gaddies, they eat as good as a mallard up here in Paradise Valley (Evingston)

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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The frugal and politically correct preparation method for any large bird is plucking, yes. Does not make sense for quail or doves though, but for grouse or anything larger you can get more meat if you scald it, soak it, and pluck it.

When I have shot birds on backpack trips I just skin them though, not pluck.

When I have shot birds on hunting trips I bring them home and pluck them.

Ducks and geese taste really good when plucked and baked.

I use butter on them in the oven to spoon over them every 15 mins while they bake.

Salt and pepper are about my only spices and these are good enough.
 

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If you've never taken the time to pluck your success and quail and do a nice butter basting sear with a couple minutes in the oven to finish then you're missing out! I almost never just breast out doves and quail, they are ready to pluck and look adorable whole on the plate.
 

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I admit to little experience with doves. Only shot two last year and that was my first year hunting them. BUT, since there were so few, it made plucking them an easy choice. I ended up cooking them in my dutch oven with some biscuits. They were awesome and while there wasn't much meat the legs, I'm glad I didn't miss out on them. Perhaps if I shot a limit I might reconsider, but like johnnycake said, they pluck so easily I can dress one an about a minute and a half with no experience.
 

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Breast only

Sorry WG, been breasting for about 40 years and ain't about to change now. 98% of the breast meat gets turned into salami. We like it that way. :D
 

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I have been plucking the breast, and then breasting out the bird with the skin left on the breast. I then brine the breasts for 3 days in a salt/brown sugar brine, then rub with a tuscan herb olive oil and put on a little Montreal steak seasoning, through in a hot cast iron skillet skin side down over medium heat, and sear the for about 5-6 minutes, until the skin is crispy brown, but not charred. Then flip and sear the other side for about 3 minutes. Turn off heat, put in about 1 tablespoon butter and spoon melted butter and drippings over the breast. Then wrap in tinfoil and let rest 5-10 minutes.

I then slice it cross grain, about 1/2 strips and eat with mashed potatoes and country style gravy.

It is good. Not just good for duck. But I'm going to have to start walking further out into the marsh to work it off. :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
more than just breasts fellas

I prefer to pluck my ducks and eat them whole. I find the hind quarters and the trunk to have a considerable amount of meat and are quite tasty, especially on a puddle duck. I would never think of leaving those parts in the marsh. If a bird is shot up or full of pin feathers I will skin them and then cut them into pieces.

I've often heard "There's nothing on a duck besides the breast." Again, there's a lot of meat on a duck besides the breast meat and to prove it I've butchered a young mallard and weighed all the parts. Here it is all broken down:



The whole mallard weighs 16oz; no giblets (neck, heart and gizzard), no liver, and the bones in the wings and legs were removed.

The breast, bone in, weighs 9oz:


The rest of the duck weighs 7oz:


Breast, boneless, weighs just under 8oz:


In this picture the legs and thighs and the trunk were removed from the carcass and weighed. Total weight is 5.5oz for the three edible portions of duck...not bad:


The back part of the carcass was also removed. There's only a small amount of meat on this part. Also find the breast bone in the lower right of the photo. There's usually a good amount of meat left on the bones when a duck is "breasted out, especially around the wishbone and shoulders.


The legs and thighs are my favorite part of a duck. They weighed 3oz on this young mallard drake:


So if you're jerkin' that breast out and tossin' the rest of the duck in the mud you're wasting about 33% of your tasty ducks.

Look at it this way: if you would keep all of the duck you'd only have to shoot 200 a year instead of 300. Think of the savings in shells, gas, Mojo batteries, and wear and tear on guns and equipment. I'm thinkin' you could fill the freezer by Thanksgiving and screw the duck hunting when it's cold and frozen up. :)

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