Happy New Year!
After a full day of skiing on Mt. Hood, it was a treat to come home to a New Year’s day dinner of roast wild duck, oyster stuffing and sweet, baked acorn squash.
That is a nicely centered plate- thanks Mom!
The post below is a contribution by my dad who has always had an interest in fish and wildlife- especially hunting, fishing, and clam digging. So much of what I have learned about being a creative cook has come from working in the kitchen with Papa Bear!
Here is what he has to say about roasting wild ducks…
plucking the feathers
After the birds were plucked, they were soaked, breast down in organic 1% milk for 3 hours.
This decreases the game-y flavor of the meat.
ducks take a milk bath
When finished soaking, place the birds breast side up in a baking dish.
Pat dry with paper towel. Then separate the skin from the breast meat with fingers.
the dirty work
Under the skin place 1 piece of small mandarin, 1 dried apricot and 1/2 slice of apple on each side of the breast, squishing the mandarin in between the skin and the meat. Salt the inside of the cavity with kosher salt and replace 1 heart and 1 liver per duck along with remaining apple and 1 minced garlic clove.
prepping the birds
Slather the top skin with olive oil, dust with a mixture of dried sage and thyme, kosher salt and fresh parsley.
Pour about 1/3 cup of full bodied red wine in the bottom of the pan and roast on 375 degrees F for 50 minutes, covered.
Mama and Papa Hume- teamwork!
Reduce heat to 325 degrees F and continue to roast for another 15-20 minutes.
those squash look yum
Let sit out of oven for approx 10 minutes, uncovered before serving.
those are some beautiful “ducks in a row”!
Notes about these ducks: “Northern Mallards are originally from Canada. The duck is recognizable by the 1 quarter inch of yellow, insulating fat under the down. They feed on grain and corn. Their flight path brings them through Moses Lake in Eastern Washington then on to Umatilla in Eastern Oregon. Colder weather will push them further south to the Klamath river basin where they winter with up to half a million ducks and geese.”