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Discussion Starter · #21 · (Edited)
It takes 6 days to get the duck taste out of a swan? I've never had swan so I'm interested in how this plays out.

For the life of me I don't know why you don't like goose I think it tastes like beef.
Has little, or nothing, to do with removing the taste. Besides, a swan doesn't taste like a duck. It's about curing the meat, driving the cure completely through the cut of meat to preserve it. Curing the meat will change it's flavor. After curing it may even have a stronger duck flavor (to use your reference) 4 days would have easily been enough time to cure these breasts. The breasts are pretty hard. I hope it's not too salty.

Not all geese tastes like beef. I love geese taken from agricultural areas, corn fields like where I came from. Geese from around Evanston WY are pretty gamey.

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WOW! I really enjoyed reading this thread and looking at the photos. As always you show how to not waste a thing, and you go the extra mile with your game. You also put more time in doing things the right way than most folks I know. Well done!
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 · (Edited)
swan summer sausage - 2012

Waterfowl makes excellent sausage. We made summer sausage from our 2012 swans.

Might as well add this post to the Whole Swan Cookbook:


Wow, swan makes really good summer sausage and this is a great tasting and easy to make recipe.

dressed swan:


undressed swan:


Used 1 1/2 swans, all of a tough old bird and one-half of a young swan. Made about 13 pounds of sausage, about 7.5 pounds of swan and 5 pounds of pork butt. What was left in the bottom of the stuffer we used for burgers. It was just great. I love the flavor of a swan but they can be dry and tough, hard to cook, like a wild turkey. The spices in this recipe are the basic ones for summer sausage plus some coriander. Coriander is lemon-like, a great addition to any wild game sausage.

Swan Summer Sausage #12

7.5 lbs - swan (meat from 1 1/2 swans)
5 lbs - pork butt
6 tbsp - Morton's Tenderquick cure
2 tbsp - sugar
2 tbsp - coarse black pepper
1 tbsp - mustard seed
1 tbsp - coriander
1 tsp - garlic powder
2 cups - water
1 tbsp - liquid smoke if cooked in oven

Cube meat or grind thru 3/4" plate.
Mix all ingredients well, keep frosty.
Grind thru 3/16" plate.
Stuff into 1 1/2" to 2 1/2" diameter casings.
Refrigerate for 48 hours.

Using fruitwood, smoke until internal temp is 152°F.
Or:
Bake in oven 6 to 8 hours @ 190°F until internal temperature is 152°F

The raw swan summer sausage was stuffed into 1 1/2" diameter x 12" long fibrous casings. What was left in the bottom of the stuffer was formed into patties and cooked in a skillet with a little bit of water; really good, nice and plump with a mild flavor:


Half of the sausages were smoked at 165°F for 3 hours and then finished in the oven. The other half was cooked entirely in the oven. Both were put in an ice water bath when the internal temperature reached 152°F. The ice water bath helps shrink the casing tight to the sausage.


It's really good. Even Mrs. Goob who asks, "How can you eat a pretty bird like that"? enjoyed the sausage.


whoo hoo, whoo hoo, whoo hoo
 
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Discussion Starter · #26 · (Edited)
swan liver dirty rice

Dirty Rice made from swan liver - 2012:

I love Dirty Rice, a taste I aquired working the gas patch in the Gulf states. There's a million recipes for it, most include chicken liver. If you like liver its a great recipe for gamebird and waterfowl livers.

So I made some dirty rice using swan liver. In my opinion swan liver is mild tasting compared to goose liver and liver from diving ducks, but not as tasty as turkey liver, or everyone's favorite, Sandhill Crane liver. The rice medley has plenty of dark-colored rice varieties including wild rice.

Down and Dirty Rice:

Boy that's dirty! Kinda looks like someone swept the floor and emptied the dust pan on a bowl of rice. :grin:

Down & Dirty Rice

Ingredients:
• 1 1/2 cups - uncooked rice medley
• 1 - 14 oz. can Chicken broth
• 1 cup - bird livers, chopped
• 1/3 cup - smoked sausage, diced
• 1/3 cup - green pepper, diced
• 1/3 cup - celery, diced
• 1/3 cup - green onion, chopped
• 1 clove - garlic, minced
• 3 tbsp - butter
• 2 tbsp - red wine
• 1/2 tsp - Chachere's Creole Seasoning



Instructions:
• Soak livers in salted milk for 2 hours, rinse, and then chop 1/4" to 1/2".
• Cook rice medley in chicken broth and 1 tbsp of butter; cover and set aside.
• Heat 1 tbsp of butter over medium heat; add garlic, livers and red wine. Cook liver, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add more butter, the vegetables and seasoning, and cook until vegetable are translucent.
• Add vegetable mixture to rice, mix well, and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring often.

Notes:
• Works great with any game bird liver.
• If using andouille sausage delete the garlic and Chachere's seasoning

Bon apétit!
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
swan prosciutto update

I had to try the swan prosciutto before it dried. It's too salty. Edible, but really salty. :sad:

I stretched the cure recipe some, made a little more than the recipe called for and might have forgot to add more sugar. And six days of curing was too long. 4 days would have been plenty. I'll adjust the recipe accordingly the next time, if there is a next time.

Sliced it 'against the grain':


Sliced it 'with the grain' (top right):


About as thin as I can get it until it's dry:


Less than 0.017" thick:


Antipasto; sliced swan prosciutto, mozzarella panino, cantaloupe and olives.


The other breast will dry for a couple weeks before it gets sliced.

I might try this on a wild goose or wild turkey but probably not on a wild duck. Duck breasts are just too small.
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Discussion Starter · #28 · (Edited)
Traditionally prosciutto is served with fresh fruit. Here's some swan prosciutto with slices of pear and cantaloupe. The fruit knocks down some of the salty flavor typical of prosciutto, capicola, lonza and some other dry-cured meats:
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 · (Edited)
swan prociutto update

The second cured swan breast dried in the fridge for 2 weeks at 40°. Frankly, I just forgot about it and wanted to slobber some wine on the cheese cloth after a week or so. The breast weighed 7.3 ounces, losing about 55% of it's original weight:


One-half was sliced against the grain, most of which will be wrapped around cheese:


The prosciutto was sliced 0.009" thick this time:


The remaining one-half was sliced with the grain. These larger slices will go well with sliced fruit or stuffed with cream cheese:


The prosciutto was hard and dry but still had enough moisture left in it to make it pliable. The saltiness had abated somewhat, but it was still too salty for me.

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Discussion Starter · #31 · (Edited)
slicing dry cured swan

Hey Goob, how are you getting slices that nice?
Great question.

First, I press the meat as it cures. That gives the swan breast firmness and uniformity.....it tightens up any gaps or "loose" muscles. Also, the meat will dry cure as a block with flat sides, top and bottom so to speak, that render themselves well to slicing and with little waste. Normally store-bought prosciutto was pressed at some point during the curing process.

Secondly, I have a commercial Hobart slicer. It's not razor-sharp but sharp enough to slice dry cured meats like capicola, lonza, and prosciutto down to 0.008". (regular copy paper is 0.004") I can get "wetter" stuff like salami, bologna, pastrami, brisket, ham, smoked fish, and even some cheese types below 0.025".

Let me tell ya, dry cured swan prosciutto is tough and when sliced thicker than 0.035" it can be unappealing; dry, salty, and hard to chew.

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Discussion Starter · #32 · (Edited)
baked legs & thighs with dressing

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This thread is an attempt to show the some different ways to prepare swan for the table. We'll take a young swan and cook up as many of the 'parts' as we can:


The breasts will be prosciutto; the carcass, tongue, neck and giblets will go in the gumbo pot. The liver will be hors d'oeuvres, as always. Any fat will be rendered. I haven't decided what to do with the legs, thighs and wing meat yet.
I decided to bake the legs, thighs and wing meat from the 2014 immature swan with dressing. A little boring and repetitive on my part, but it's one of my favorite ways to prepare waterfowl.

Birds that spend a lot of time on their feet like puddle ducks, geese, swans, turkeys and cranes have relatively large legs and thighs. This swan was no exception and the legs and thighs and wing meat were packaged in separate vacuum bags. Out of curiosity the meat was weighed:


De-boned the legs and thighs:


Trimmed and then chopped up the wing and shoulder meat. There's a lot of meat there:


The bones were simmered in chicken bouillon and it made some colorful and tasty stock for the dressing. The wing meat was browned with butter, red wine, garlic and mushrooms for 5 minutes. The stock was strained and about one-half of it added to the browned wing meat and then simmered for 10 minutes:


A double batch of dressing was made from sliced toast, onions, celery, fresh parsley, the pre-cooked wing meat, butter and the broth. Sage, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper were mixed in "to taste" Then the de-boned leg and thigh meat was rubbed with vegetable oil and nested in the dressing in a large casserole dish.

Baked, covered, at 300° for 90 minutes and then uncovered at 400° for 10 minutes or less to brown the dish:


Swan leg meat can be a little on the tough side but this was a young swan, tender and moist. The dressing is flavorful and very meaty, a meal in itself. This dish will easily serve four hungry adults.



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Discussion Starter · #33 · (Edited)
So the 2014 swan cooked up like this:

skin and fat - rendered swan oil
liver - hor d'oeuvres
neck, heart and gizzard - gumbo
breast meat - prosciutto
legs and thigh meat - baked
wing, shoulders and back meat - dressing
bones - stock for gumbo and dressing

I purposely weighed the swan meat on my 2014 immature swan to show how much edible meat there was other than the breast meat:

breast meat including breast meat trimmings = 28 oz
de-boned and trimmed legs, thighs, wings and back = 32 oz

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Seems like a confit is in order for those legs. Can't wait to see how this plays out, 'cause I need to start hunting these tasty delights!
Being a young swan I gambled and simply baked the legs. Got lucky, they ended up medium well and tender. :p

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I wonder if anyone raises swans for the table. Obviously, I am not referring to species that exist in the wild in this area, but unprotected species, such as mute swan or australian black swan.
 
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