Working with canvasbacks

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Working with canvasbacks

Postby windjammer » Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:36 pm

This past season was the first one where I had the opportunity to take some cans, And I got several for the freezer. Obviously, their historic reputation as table fare precedes them, but what about their current reputation? Ive also read articles where ruddies were considered top table fare, and these cans smelled pretty...rough... as I was cleaning them (both whole and breasted). For those of you who have shot cans that didn't go on the wall, how did you cook them? What did and didn't work for you with these birds?
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Re: Working with canvasbacks

Postby MNGunner » Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:11 pm

windjammer wrote:This past season was the first one where I had the opportunity to take some cans, And I got several for the freezer. Obviously, their historic reputation as table fare precedes them, but what about their current reputation? Ive also read articles where ruddies were considered top table fare, and these cans smelled pretty...rough... as I was cleaning them (both whole and breasted). For those of you who have shot cans that didn't go on the wall, how did you cook them? What did and didn't work for you with these birds?


I've cooked them using the same recipes I do for mallards and they've always turned out great. They're divers, but they eat wild celery and weeds not fish and taste as good as puddlers.
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Re: Working with canvasbacks

Postby Indaswamp » Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:55 pm

canvasbacks have adapted to eating more snails while on the great lakes to supplement their diet because of the loss of wild celery beds throughout the NE...
On occasion, we will have one that arrives here in louisiana that has not feed out on grass and smells a little strong. Once cooked though, I can not tell the difference, All out can breasts go in with the puddlers and redheads. I will pluck late season cans though.
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Re: Working with canvasbacks

Postby THAXTER » Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:08 pm

I haven't tried it but it sounds good. And it's the traditional way to serve a Can. and a good little read.

http://honest-food.net/2011/12/11/canva ... -of-ducks/
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Re: Working with canvasbacks

Postby tako1972 » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:53 pm

Windjammer, there is a spot near my home( Central Texas) that always draws a few Cans when the bulk of the migration is in swing. I am always happy because the breasts are the finest eating of all the ducks I kill throughout the season, not counting any Specks. They are divers but taste a whole lot better, for whatever reason, than the rest. I don't even brine them, although I might if they smelled strong as the ones you have were described. I do my best to bleed them out and age them for a few days in the fridge. I then heat up my cast iron, rub the breast with some olive oil and pan roast the duck as if I were cooking a steak. The best. I would rather have that than a supermarket steak one hundred percent of the time. Just don't overcook it. Happy eating.
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