cooking divers

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cooking divers

Postby luciengwin4 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:53 pm

i have always hunted puddle ducks and usually when divers or shovelers came in we never shot them bc my grandfather always said they tased bad. this year i am going to be doing alot of diver hutning and just wondering if there was a special way to cook them or even if they really do taste bad. i was always under the impression that canvasback was supposed to be good. i will be shooting ringnecks, bluebills, redheads, buffleheads and canvasback and advice or recipes would be much appreciated.
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Re: cooking divers

Postby flight control » Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:04 pm

Nothing wrong with divers. If you find they dont taste very good, you did something wrong :yes:

Try recipes with marinades or some spice to them.

If that doesnt work, try sausages. I made some for the first time this year with a lot of divers, mostly mergansers, and they tasted awesome. My sister-in-law, who refuses to eat wild game because its "gross" actually loved them!

Most of the birds you listed, I would actualy place at the better tasting end of the diver spectrum :thumbsup:
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Re: cooking divers

Postby relichunter » Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:43 pm

Well what i think there are only two kinds of ducks mallards and s**t ducks and the mallards taste the best and i have tryed them all.
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Re: cooking divers

Postby Slack Tide » Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:12 pm

yuck
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Re: cooking divers

Postby send the dog » Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:24 pm

Canvasbacks will be your best tasting divers and could be cooked the same as puddle ducks, however, they will still have a slight liver taste. Fried bacon and onions with divers is awesome, just don't cook the heck out of them, med-rare. Or, as stated before, diver sausage is a great way to enjoy them.
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Re: cooking divers

Postby Indaswamp » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:34 am

Canvasback was the king of ducks for good reason in the market hunter days, and commanded a higher price than mallards. Believe it or not-not all divers eat fish and snails...Canvasbacks eat 90-95% plant matter, water celery being their favorite. Redheads eat about 90% plant mater and have a white fat like widgeons and pintails. I'll eat a white fat duck over a yellow fat duck any day.
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Re: cooking divers

Postby Slack Tide » Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:43 am

Please pass the chicken......
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Re: cooking divers

Postby apexhunter » Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:17 am

If you are concerned about the liver taste of divers there are a few options. Depending upon how you are cooking the birds you can skin them to remove the fat layer just under the skin which is what gives most wild birds the gamey or liver taste. Obviously this can lead to dry or tough meat which isn't good at all. You can also soak the meat in buttermilk for a bit to remove even more of the wildness. That said taking ALL of the wild out of game defeats the purpose so most use garlic, onions or some acidic liquid like vinegar or citrus juice to accentuate the true flavor.

Just remember to not overcook fowl...I believe Frank White, the old Southern Sportsman was totally correct when he said all game should be cooked medium rare to medium at the most.
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Re: cooking divers

Postby aunt betty » Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:43 am

relichunter wrote:Well what i think there are only two kinds of ducks mallards and s**t ducks and the mallards taste the best and i have tryed them all.

As respectfully as possible...YOU ARE WRONG.
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Re: Re: cooking divers

Postby Eric Haynes » Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:52 am

aunt betty wrote:
relichunter wrote:Well what i think there are only two kinds of ducks mallards and s**t ducks and the mallards taste the best and i have tryed them all.

As respectfully as possible...YOU ARE WRONG.

X2

Make your way up to Alaska and tell me how great the Mallards taste. Your assumption on duck taste is very wrong.
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Re: Re: cooking divers

Postby petrel » Fri Aug 31, 2012 11:23 am

Eric Haynes wrote:
aunt betty wrote:
relichunter wrote:Well what i think there are only two kinds of ducks mallards and s**t ducks and the mallards taste the best and i have tryed them all.

As respectfully as possible...YOU ARE WRONG.

X2

Make your way up to Alaska and tell me how great the Mallards taste. Your assumption on duck taste is very wrong.


X3

The only waterfowl I simply can not eat is Brant! I'm 0 for 2 attempts. We've even made duck bites out of Scoters and Oldsquaws (after marinating them for two days!) The children said that they taste like duck and oysters!

Divers are fine eating when properly seasoned and cooked medium rare! My family would prefer to eat teal and wood ducks, but we don't turn our noses up to divers.

This is pretty standard:

1 cup low salt soy sauce
1tbs rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup peanut oil
1 1/2 tbs honey
1 heaping tbs chopped garlic
1 tsp minced toasted onion

Whisk together the marinade. Split skinless breasts and marinade for an hour or so. Wrap each breast qtr in half a strip of thin bacon secured with a toothpick.
Sear on a very hot fire, then move to a top rack and let them roast until just medium rare. Serve over jasmine rice with fresh minced broadleaf parsley. Goes well with all veggies.
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Re: cooking divers

Postby Slack Tide » Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:59 am

Chicken......
Chicken please.
thank you
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Re: cooking divers

Postby Indaswamp » Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:26 am

Slack Tide wrote:Chicken......
Chicken please.
thank you

If you took the time to make my breakfast sausage with all the divers you shot, It would change your mind. Ratio of 40% Duck or goose 60% pork is the key. Anyone that enjoys maple sausage ought to try it! :thumbsup:
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Re: cooking divers

Postby Slack Tide » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:24 am

I hear you, I'm just havin fun.
I've had delicious brant and gross teal... but the nose knows when it comes to most of them.
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Re: cooking divers

Postby vanover » Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:13 am

I shoot around 50-60 divers a year here in ca out in the bay. Can't go wrong with making them into a stew, slow cook in the crockpot.
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Re: cooking divers

Postby apexhunter » Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:07 pm

The flavor of any duck will depend upon its diet of recent days. Some of the most delicious fowl I've ever eaten was in Arkansas a few years back where the outfitter's mother cooked a huge stir fry of duck breast and they were absolutely awesome...and the birds being cooked were shovelers of all things that had not been marinated in any way. When birds get into rice or corn for a few days they take on a completely different flavor than they would have on a normal diet.
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Re: cooking divers

Postby scrubboy1 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:53 pm

I cook divers like i cook steak. A little salt and pepper on high heat for just a couple of minutes. Medium rare they taste like filet mignon!
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Re: cooking divers

Postby tywhite87 » Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:20 pm

We don't see much for divers around me but last year we popped a couple mergansers... I just cut in 1/4" strips, marinated in teriyaki for about 4 hours and grilled it to a medium rare... it was great. In fact it was grilled along side some wood duck strips, they all got mixed together coming off the grill and you couldn't tell which was which.
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Re: cooking divers

Postby daffy... » Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:37 pm

relichunter wrote:Well what i think there are only two kinds of ducks mallards and s**t ducks and the mallards taste the best and i have tryed them all.



i could put mallard and scooter on the same plate and bet you couldnt taste the difference. id bet my bank account im that confident






theres all kinds of things you can do to get the liver flavor out but personaly i like liver so i embrace it and prepare it the same way i would calfs liver. try brineing it in something for a few days. makes it more tender and pulls out the iron flavors.
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Re: cooking divers

Postby CLAYBREAKER22701 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:18 pm

ng
relichunter wrote:Well what i think there are only two kinds of ducks mallards and s**t ducks and the mallards taste the best and i have tryed them all.




WAY wrong - I personaly think Wood ducks taste the best HOWEVER anyone can screw up a good thing. I have had terrible mallard before as well as as awesome mallard. It's all in how you cook them. I have personally never eaten a diver but I might try this sausage thing out. Thanks for the tip!
Last edited by CLAYBREAKER22701 on Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: cooking divers

Postby Slack Tide » Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:15 pm

I'll tell you that the BBQ is the key to cooking any of these winged critters.
That and marinade them to DEATH
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Re: cooking divers

Postby Bird Junkie » Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:30 am

Most people just cant cook!!!! I kill and eat alot of divers in the late season here when they switch to snails and clams they can get "fishey" but remove skin and fat and your good to go. Also can eats better than any mallard especially when the mallards are eating snails.
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Re: cooking divers

Postby Indaswamp » Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:32 am

Bird Junkie wrote:Most people just cant cook!!!! I kill and eat alot of divers in the late season here when they switch to snails and clams they can get "fishey" but remove skin and fat and your good to go. Also can eats better than any mallard especially when the mallards are eating snails.

late season Cans here eat water celery and duck potatoes... :thumbsup:
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