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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is by far one of my favorite recipes for ducks. It isn't one of those that masks the flavor of the bird at all, so if you don't like the "gamey" taste of waterfowl this may not be for you. It works particularly well with smaller puddlers like teal, wigeon, or a small pintail. Bigger birds like mallards and gadwall will also work, you just have to turn the temp down to about 450. Don't use this recipe with a super fat bird, anything over 1/8"-ish seems to not work as well.

This was a young, pretty small mallard. Pluck the bird, be sure to remove all the pin feathers and entrails. I soak it in a salt brine for a day or two in the fridge, then pull the bird out and pat dry. Let it sit out of the fridge for an hour or so to bring it to room temperature then put whatever spices you prefer all over the bird. I enjoy just some simple pepper.


Stuff the cavity with a bit of onion, some celery, carrots, garlic, some fresh sage, or whatever tickles your fancy. In all honesty I don't feel like what you stuff it with effects the flavor of the bird that much, it will add some more flavor to the drippings though.

Preheat your oven to 475 and make sure it is truly that hot prior to throwing in the bird. Place the bird on some celery stalks or thick slices of onion so the bird doesn't sit in its juices as it cooks.


Smaller ducks like this can take as little as 10 minutes, bigger birds can take up to 20 or so. Biggest thing is to check the internal temperature and once the bird hits 135 pull it out of the oven and loosely tent it with foil and let it rest, about 5 minutes or so, so the juices redistribute. You will look at it at 135 and say no way in hell is it ready, you are wrong! Just try it! It will be rare to medium rare, but is phenomenal.


You can slice up the breasts and thighs and leave the skin on and sear the skin over a hot frying to pan to crispy up the skin. Whatever you cooked the duck in should have a decent amount of drippings in it, you can add some butter and cream and make a great gravy to put on top if you'd like.
 

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Yeah, that's what I'm talkin' about!!!

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Have you ever tried brining it prior to baking, just wondering if that removes a little gamey taste.

You see I have this deep seated intense hatred of anything that tastes like liver. As a kid I got a disease once and I had to eat tons of liver (you can probably guess what I had by that) and after eating liver almost every day for 6 months I almost gag just at the smell of it much less the taste of something that reminds me of liver.
 

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Nice pictures. Makes me wanna go out into the marsh and pick up all the duck legs and thighs.

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Have you ever tried brining it prior to baking, just wondering if that removes a little gamey taste.

You see I have this deep seated intense hatred of anything that tastes like liver. As a kid I got a disease once and I had to eat tons of liver (you can probably guess what I had by that) and after eating liver almost every day for 6 months I almost gag just at the smell of it much less the taste of something that reminds me of liver.
You'd starve ta death at my house. :)

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You'd starve ta death at my house. :)

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When the wife cooks liver I leave the house and don't come back until everything is cleaned up and the windows have been open airing out the house with the window fans on blowing fresh air into the house to flush it out...LOL
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Have you ever tried brining it prior to baking, just wondering if that removes a little gamey taste.

You see I have this deep seated intense hatred of anything that tastes like liver. As a kid I got a disease once and I had to eat tons of liver (you can probably guess what I had by that) and after eating liver almost every day for 6 months I almost gag just at the smell of it much less the taste of something that reminds me of liver.
Yes, I usually brine them for a day or two. I've found it easier to learn to like the taste of waterfowl rather than try to mask it, but then again I never have had to eat it straight for 6 months! If tastes like liver you are overcooking it IMO. Gotta go with a true medium rare, err on the side of caution and don't overcook it.
 
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