Sharing well-prepared game helps foster an understanding of the hunting tradition and is a key to increasing support for our passion for the outdoors. These recipes are relatively simple to prepare and are a delicious presentation for those who have not experienced the fine culinary qualities of wildfowl.
Smoked Duck on Rye
3-4 mallard breasts (skin optional)
1. Soak duck breasts for 24 hours in brine made of 4 cups apple juice, one cup brown sugar, one cup salt, 3 tablespoons dry sweet basil, and one tablespoon black pepper.
2. Smoke at 180 F over Applewood for three hours; allow to cool fully.
3. Thinly slice; serve on small rye toast, lightly brushed with honey mustard (equal parts Dijon mustard and honey).
This takes time to prepare, but is worth the effort. Multiple pies can be made and frozen to be cooked at a later time.
- 3 pounds duck or goose breasts, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 6-8 strips thick-cut bacon, diced
- 3 cups onions, diced
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup parsley, minced
- 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 cup flour
- 16 ounces dark beer (Guinness)
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 2 12” pie shells with tops
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup milk
- Salt and pepper
1. Lightly coat meat with flour, salt and pepper. Brown meat in oil for 10-15 minutes over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven. Brown meat one pound at a time. Remove meat to a platter and cover lightly with foil.
2. When meat is done, add diced bacon to the same pot and cook for 5-8 minutes, then add onions and brown until caramelized (15 minutes). Add celery, parsley and garlic when onions are almost caramelized (last five minutes) and cook until celery is translucent.
3. Return browned meat to the pot and add beer until meat is covered. Put pot (covered) in 350 F oven for 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove pot from oven, add 1/4 cup flour and stir well, then return to oven and bake another 30 minutes until thickened. Remove from oven and allow mixture to cool.
4. Place cooled mixture in pie shells, cover and pierce tops with fork in 10-12 places to allow steam to escape while cooking. Wash top crust with mixture of beaten egg and milk. Cook at 375 F for 45 minutes.
5. Serve with green salad and red wine.
- 2-3 large Bartlett pears, seeded and sliced into wedges
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup Demerara rum
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1. Melt butter in medium saucepan, add pear slices and cook 10 minutes over medium heat.
2. Add syrup, rum and spices, and cook 20 minutes over low heat until sauce thickens slightly.
3. Serve over vanilla ice cream.
Like many who share his delight in gourmet wild game dinners, Kehoe believes that with the right treatment, any waterfowl species can be prepared and served with pride. Kehoe created these tasty recipes exclusively for Conservator readers.