duck duck duck

Posted in edibles by nikkipolani on December 31, 2012

Even after reading through several of Hank’s recipes, I still wasn’t sure what to make of the duck my parents had given me (some of the pieces looked much smaller than duck).  Most wild duck recipes recommend searing the breast meat to keep the gamy flavor from taking over.  Mom’s “recipe” (my mom never has a recipe; just a list of suggested ingredients and timings) was to cook with heaps of cilantro.

So I compromised.  I marinated the tiny breasts for an hour in about 1/2 cup red wine and 1/2 cup soy sauce with about 1 cup chopped cilantro and a teaspoon freshly ground pepper — for about 1-1/2 pounds of de-boned meat.

Then I seared them in butter in small batches, only about a minute per side.  For some sense of scale, the pan above is an 8″ fry pan.  Each breast is about the size of a tablespoon.

Turns out, the flavor is still too gamy for me.  But roomie really liked it so I seared a few more and froze the rest for another day.  Roomie thought the cats might like to try some un-marinated pieces.  Wimsey had a few bites, but Emmaline soon edged him out and licked the bowl clean.  I’m glad the duck will not go to waste, but I think I’ve discovered that wild duck is not for me.

I did like the marinade very well, however, and might try it with flank steak in the future.

13 Responses

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  1. elaine said, on December 31, 2012 at 2:44 am

    I’m not sure I like wild duck either – but your photographs look very tasty. The only duck I really like is Chinese style crispy duck – I love the way they shred it at the table – delicious with oyster sauce.

    • nikkipolani said, on December 31, 2012 at 11:50 am

      I’m with you. I think I’ll stick to the restaurant Chinese (domestic) duck!

  2. snowbird said, on December 31, 2012 at 5:54 am

    I’m glad Roomie like the duck, along with the cats, and at least you tried it! by February they’ll be all throwing it at you!Lol xxxxx

  3. Carrie said, on December 31, 2012 at 8:21 am

    I love duck but never tried wild duck, i reckon it would be too gamey for me too. Really like the coriander with it, that does sound nice, I like it with redcurrant jelly :) xxxx

  4. shoreacres said, on December 31, 2012 at 8:51 am

    I wonder if it’s the same with duck as with deer. The field dressing is so important with deer. If it’s not done properly, it can ruin the meat. The degree of gaminess may have something to do with that, as well as with the nature of the meat itself.

    I must say, it looks lovely, but I understand not having a taste for it. Maybe I should see if I could get some duck for Dixie. I can’t find any other human food she likes. ;)

  5. Wandering Chopsticks said, on December 31, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Did you marinate all of it? If not, you can try soaking the duck in milk. That removes some of the gameyness when I make liver pate so I imagine it’d work for the duck too. I’m curious what wild duck tastes like. Was it like really flavorful duck? I do love duck.

    • nikkipolani said, on December 31, 2012 at 11:44 am

      Yes, marinated it all, but roomie un-marinated some to save for the cats who, of course, have now tired of it! Maybe I’ll give your milk treatment a try. The flavor, as far as I can tell, is very liver-like and not in a nice way. Tanh. Like it needs tons of pepper and ginger to cut the flavor.

  6. Arti said, on December 31, 2012 at 10:13 am

    You really are versatile in your cooking. I’ll never attempt a wild duck. But all this look delicious. Although I must ask you, seems like you’re searing it lightly, and they are still red in the middle? Can you eat raw duck meat like beef? My favorite duck dish is yes, the Chinese BBQ at noodle houses. And no, I wouldn’t want to try cooking it myself. Have a wonderful New Year of cooking and creating!

    • nikkipolani said, on December 31, 2012 at 11:47 am

      I’ve wondered about eating the meat rare, too, Arti, but it appears duck is more like beef than chicken in flavor and texture and does best cooked rare. Unless it’s Peking duck or Chinese BBQ style or stewed, which, for wild duck, puts it at risk for that gamey liver-y flavor. Plus, the wild duck I got was very very lean.

  7. Ellen said, on December 31, 2012 at 11:36 am

    My son said that wild turkey was a bit tough when he cooked the one from his property. I have never prepared any duck…yet.

    • nikkipolani said, on December 31, 2012 at 11:48 am

      Yes, it seems the wilder the bird, the tougher they are since they are exercising their muscles and those muscles get tough! I think I can cross duck off my list now ;-)

  8. veronique said, on January 1, 2013 at 1:35 am

    I was never brave enough to cook duck, wild or not.

  9. Tracy said, on January 1, 2013 at 7:24 am

    Wonderful preparation though…We had duck at Christmas. I prepared the duck to medium done-ness and served with a sweet dark cherry & port wine sauce–it was sooo good! Wishing you & yours all the very best of LOVE, PEACE & JOY in the New Year, Anne :o) ((HUGS))

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