infantry86 wrote:The easiest way for me is to just breast them out. I pluck the belly feathers, make a small incision on its chest and peel away the skin. The you can step on its head and feet sticking one set of fingers down the neck and one kinda near its butt (theres a little pcket down there which goes to where all the guts are). Then just pull up and all the guts fall out. You should now have the wings and the breast in your hands. Clip the wings and you are good to go.
fallscity1 wrote:I'm a breast man. I like to fillet the breast off. When done you're left with a boneless, skinless, duck steak. peel the skin back from the breast, make a slice parallel to the breast bone, make a perpendicular slice at the bottom of the breast, then start near the breast bone and fillet the breast from the rib cage. The top of the breast requires some detail, cause the meat is thick and you dont want to waste any. slice as close to the wish bone as possible towards the wing. repeat on the other side.
don taylor wrote:I breast out all my ducks and geese but save the back legs for confit (fancy french way of stewing meat for flavor) but my biggest problem was freezer burn. I like to eat them after the seasons over. I started freezing them in a solid block of ice by putting them in a zip lock and filling it up. Then when space got tight, I partially froze them and dunked them to get a nice glaze of ice on them. I have eaten 2 year old ducks and they have been fine. I love to BBQ them in the summer.
WhidbeyDuckGuy wrote:I dip my ducks whole in scalding water. 170F, not boiling. I hold them by the feet and use a wooden spoon to work the hot water into the feathers and down to the layer of skin. Do this for under a minute.
This relaxes the muscles enough for very quick plucking. If it gets difficult again I just redip them and repeat. I can clean a duck from webbed foot to beak; wing tip to wing tip and get a presentation quality bird...just as pretty as you would see in a Chinese grocery.
It does not take that long at all.
So I have to wonder about all who just breast out their birds...In my state you must retain all edible portions of the bird. Just breasting out is considered illegal. And this does not just mean transport out of the field. To me that is like just cutting off only the backstrap off of a deer or elk. Also I only shoot species I plan on eating. I have tried my share of Merganser and Coot and now never pull the trigger on them. But they were never wasted.
The "freezer police" have never made a visit to my home, but they would be happy to see the whole bird (less entrails) has been retained for use, vacuum sealed up. Also, I was raised by Depression era parents who taught me NEVER to waste anything.
If you are not making soup stock out of the neck and back, you are missing out on some fine dining. Duck and dumplings! Brine and smoke those parts before making stock.....you won't regret it.
Also, I smoke and slow grill the hind quarters until the meat is falling off the bone. Yummy stuff.
NorthCoaster wrote:Aging waterfowl is really easy. It will increase the GOOD flavor and the tenderness by 200% or more!
Here's the process:
Pluck the breast fully, remove the whole breast (Including the bone) making sure to leave the skin on which is the most important part. Rinse and dry the entire breast and place on a rack in the fridge - for teal etc you only need 3 days, sprig mallards - 5-6 days, and geese 7-10 days. Once they have aged, remove from the fridge, and slice the skin off, most times you can just pull it off the meat. You should notice that the purple color is gone and you are left with duck the color of a good steak! You can leave in on the breast bone, or remove it - that's up to you!
How it works: by leaving the skin on the meat, the skin acts as a wick and draws the blood out of the tissue, thus breaking aiding in the breaking down of the muscle fiber. When you remove the skin you can see a tint of red color to it!
If anyone has questions let me know. Try this once, the difference in quality is out of this world!
dudejcb wrote:pluck, then singe, then gut.
parrafin works really well but it's a pain, so I just use a propane torch or my propane Bunson burner (for frying turkeys) to singe the last of the down feathers, o nce I've hand plucked all the big feathers. singe outdoors... it smells like burnt hair.
Also, leave the wings and feet on till after you singe so you can move the wings and legs to get at and singe those arm- and leg-pit down feathers...
Kiskadinna wrote: I stick to the wax method for plucking birds.
Basically, you begin pulling off feathers from the body with your hands. While this is going on, I heat up a large stock pot of water (2 Gallons or so) with 1 block of paraffin, gulf wax or similar. Make sure that the water/wax is warmed up enough so the wax is melted and not visible in the mix - but also not hot enough to cook the flesh of the bird. Then I dip the mostly plucked bird in the wax 2-3 times briefly, allowing it to dry slightly between dips.
Then you can basically remove any remaining feathers/pins along with a thin layer of wax.
(Gut after the waxing)
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