Cooking Louisiana - Cooking Wild Duck

Wild Duck is a common item here in South Louisiana. To me preparing a wild duck for cooking is as important as the cooking itself. There are a few things in preparing wild duck to help subdue the wild taste and are described below.

I prefer the duck breast as opposed to the whole bird; that's me.

Cut the breast away from the bird trying to get as much meat off as you can. Cut out all the BBs you can get to. Rinse and put the meat in a zipper bag with water and about a tbs. of salt. Put in the fridge about an hour. This will help bleed the meat a little. Dump the water, rinse and add milk, seasoning and 2 sticks of celery cut in 4. Allow to sit in fridge overnight or at least 6 hours. 

When ready to cook, dump everything in a colander and rinse. Season the duck and you're ready to go. You can also prepare a liquid marinade and put it back in the zip bag and back in the fridge for a while.

Now remember, ducks are best with something sweet. Apples, peaches, cherries and sweet potatoes are some possibilities. I've never tried it but brown sugar is used in some recipes. Duck meat has no fat in it so by nature it's dense and dry. Knowing that, always remember to keep the meat moist. Cooking time depends on the age of the birds so start early just in case.

Cooking methods are just a few such as baking, grilling and braising in a little gravy. 

Baking and grilling are about the same as far as preparation goes. Stuffing the breast with garlic and other seasonings works good along with small pieces of bacon fat. Wrapping the meat with bacon is common. Slice the bacon in 2-3 strips, thinly slice an onion and put them over the breast, then, wrap it with the bacon to hold the onion in place.

If you're baking the meat brown it a little in a skillet, add water to deglaze and put it all in a black iron or other pot with onions and celery and bake at 350 until it's done, basting frequently. Be sure to keep some water in it and once the meat begins to tenderize cover it. Add a little apple juice to sweeten it up.

To grill or barbecue the meat stuff and wrap it as described above. Put it right over the fire to brown it a little then move it off to the side. Slow cooking makes this better and frequent basting is necessary. Use water and apple juice or orange juice. When the meat is beginning to tenderize wrap it in foil with some liquid and seal it up tight to steam. You can throw a few slices of apple or sweet potato on it at that time.

Braising in a gravy begins by chopping onions, celery and bell pepper (the trinity) but double the celery amount. Cook that down then add garlic, water and seasoning. Brown the  meat in a skillet and add to vegetables. Slow cook covered until done. 

Some folks like sauces and I'm sure you can find those on the web. 

That's pretty much is folks, simple and slow cooked make it right.

 

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