Masking mallards

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Masking mallards

Postby beperry1 » Sun Oct 30, 2011 5:46 pm

I was wondering if there are any recipes out there that effectively mask the gaminess that wild fowl naturally have? My wife won't eat them because of how strong they taste. She even said "eeeuugh" as she saw me type this post.

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Re: Masking mallards

Postby ring_main » Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:00 pm

Minimal "taste" happens for a couple reasons - first, prompt attention being given to the birds - if you're going to be in the field on a warm day, remove the entrails and get the ducks in a cooler with ice within an hour. Second, I like to skin the ducks so that there is minimal fat on them. I usually do this as I am breasting and legging them out. Then let them soak overnight in salt water (a few tablespoons per quart is usually sufficient) changing the water once. This gets the blood out.

As for a recipe, reposted from the Honey Hole:

My personal favorite, and very simple. (I just had this for dinner a few minutes ago, actually, and may have seen the recipe on this forum a while back??)

2 parts olive oil
1 part worcestershire sauce
1 part Frank's red hot
ground black pepper
a little garlic, if desired

Make enough of the above marinade to cover however many skinned duck breasts you are planning to cook. Cover and refrigerate overnight in plastic container. Heat a few TBSP of olive oil in a skillet. When hot, drop the duck breasts in and let cook for 1 minute, covered. Flip and let cook for 3-5 minutes each side, covered, on medium heat.

Serve with stuffing or rice or whatever other sides you care for.

You can shorten the marinade time to as little as a couple hours if you like, but I've found best flavor comes by letting them marinate overnight. You can also tweak the ratios and try other hot sauces, but IMO Frank's produces the best taste with waterfowl, for some reason. Also, I let my duck meat soak in the fridge in salt water over night and then rinse them before placing in a marinade.
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Re: Masking mallards

Postby Tiburon5 » Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:48 pm

Go with chili. cut the duck into the smallest cubes you can. Mix the duck in with beef, elk, whatever you like. The hotter you can stand the better too. As far as cutting down on the bad taste... there is a silvery membrane on the breasts, flay it off before you bleed your birds.

For the ultimate test... feed it to known duck haters to see if they can tell it is in there. :wink:
Salad... it's what food eats.
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Re: Masking mallards

Postby tenfingergrip » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:22 pm

Use the pita pocket cut fileted breast/jalapeno pepper&cream cheese in the pocket, wrapped in bacon w/toothpick, thrown on the hot grill recipe. It removes all the gaminess taste (taste like filet mignon).

Above all: Do Not overcook....Rare or Med Rare only...only way to eat duck. The more you cook it, the gamier it tastes! Cook until the bacon strip is done.

Once she eats it, she'll love for you to go duck hunting!!
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Re: Masking mallards

Postby BrentP » Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:13 pm

YOur wife will like the duck cooked the following ways as long as you dont over cook it. I was able to get mine to like these recipies. She actually really likes duck now!

Both recipies requier the meat be brined in salt water for several days. Change the salt water a few times.

grilled rosemary garlic Mallard breasts

this ends up tasting like pork tenderloin.... chop fresh garlic and rosemary and grind a little fresh pepper. Mix with a small ammount of olive oil. Use the solution as a rub on the duck breasts. If you let them sit with the ingredients on them for a day or so, it really transfers some good flavor to the meat. Grill on high heat for a short ammount of time. On my grill, 4 mins per side is good. The goal is medium rare, or rare for some people depending on preference. Serve with roasted potatoes and or some grilled asparagus.

Philly Duck sandwich (i always use diving ducks for this)

Cut the duck breast, tenderloin, and meat from the legs into small cubes and let it sit in a container with a little bit of worchishire sauce and a-1 sauce. Let it sit for as long as you want, but a few hours is fine. Dice onions and mushrooms. Start by cooking the onions in a pan with some salt pepper and butter. Add mushrooms. When both are done to your liking, add the cubed duck. Only cook for a moment of two. If your pan is hot, the duck will be done in a minuete or two or less. Shovel the goods onto a fresh and toasted hoagie bun and top with provalone slices. There are many variations of this, but the described way is my favorite.
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Re: Masking mallards

Postby holzy82 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:19 pm

I like to cook the boneless skinless breasts in a crock pot with apple cider, it tenderizes and takes out some of the gaminess. I also recently made duck fajitas with store bought seasoning packets. I marinated the breast strips in lime juice for a few hours then followed the directions on the packet and that turned out very good too. Soaking in water or brine is always a good idea too.
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Re: Masking mallards

Postby Morning Flight » Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:35 pm

Brining is a great way to reduce the gaminess of most anything. You can use plain salt water or you can create your own mix and bring salted water to a boil, add herbs,spices etc to make it more flavorful, cool down and place in bag with ducks. In addition, I've found cooking waterfowl beyond medium rare increases the gaminess and drys out the meat. You cn also turn the uck into something else, sausage or burger, and tell her it's beef. Garuantee sh buys that one. I've had many friends over for goose fajitas that thought thy were eating carne asada.

My experience says use plain or a flavorful brine for no more than overnight. Plan to change the liquid once. Season with salt and pepper, sear to med rare and serve. You can always put a sauce in if you like too.
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Re: Masking mallards

Postby westjw2 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:39 am

I would suggest a slow cooking approach. Duck braised in red wine, beer, or stock is always a crowd favorite of mine. Or cook your wife chicken and save the duck for yourself.
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Re: Masking mallards

Postby supasmeal » Sun Dec 04, 2011 7:32 pm

I have yet to find a way to better remove that gamey taste that all ducks seem to have...inject the breasts with whatever type of marinade you would normally use and then toss in the fryer oil...I usually go about 4 to 5 minutes for mallard sized ducks and a minute or two less for the smaller ducks
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Re: Masking mallards

Postby badgerfowl » Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:35 pm

i deep fried some wigeon chunks this year. awesome to say the least. Used a chicken fry mix for the batter. Double dipped in buttermilk and chicken fry mix. tender and juicy as can be. No gamey taste at all.
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Re: Masking mallards

Postby rabbitdundied » Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:44 pm

The reason for the gamey taste is overcooking the meat. I used to have the same problem. I drowned duck in everything until I came across this method of cooking it.

Duck Breast Confit'
by rabbitdundied ยป Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:56 am

This is a must try recipe'.

Pluck breast
Cut the skin around the breast, be careful to cut a larger piece of skin than the breast as it will shrink when cooked. I cut all the way up onto the neck and way below the breast area.
Burn off any small feathers left on skin.

1. Rub Salt and Black Pepper into both sides of the breast.
2. "Most Important" start with a cold skillet with no oil.
3. Place breast in pan skin side down. Cook as low as the stove will allow you to. This will cause the fat to render out of the breast.
4. Cook low and slow until all fat renders out and the skin is crispy. 10-20 minutes is not uncommon. The skin will taste like bacon and the fat is simply the best fat in nature.

5. When the skin is crispy turn breast and brown the other side. "Note the more well done you cook the breast the more gamey it will taste." I cook the breast for a minute and a half on the other side, which is just enough to brown.
6. Remove from heat and allow the breast to rest for 5 minutes before cutting. "This keeps the juices from running out when cutting and keeps the breast moist."
7. Slice thinly on the bias.

Serve with steak sauce or hollandaise.

This is the easiest and best way to serve a duck and would cost $30.00 for a small serving.
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