Blood Question

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Blood Question

Postby kingbee » Tue Nov 07, 2006 11:14 am

Do you cook your duck like chicken or steak. Meaning, when you cook chicken the blood needs to be gone. But when you cook steak you can do rare, medium, etc.

I havnt cooked up much duck. But with thicker pieces it seems like it takes forever to cook the whole way through. And the more red in the center the better.

What do you do?
Mallards - 5
Woodie - 1
Bluewing - 1
Geese - 0
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Postby duckjumper » Tue Nov 07, 2006 12:54 pm

From a culinary standpoint, ducks and geese are more like beef than chicken. They *must* be served either rare-to-medium or gently (emphasis on gently) simmered for hours.

I do not bleed out my ducks nor do I soak them in brine. I hunt ducks in California, where most are naturally very fatty to begin with (I can render out 1/4 cup of pure fat from a mallard!) If your ducks are not fatty, bard them by laying smoky bacon on top. If you don't want smoky, cut very thin slivers of pork fatback (in the meat section of your supermarket) and do the same thing. I say this because some people brine their ducks to make them more tender, but you need not brine a skinny bird if you lay fat on the breast, like a pheasant. Brining a duck is a bad idea, IMHO, because most ducks are tender anyway served rare-to-medium. And the blood in the meat is a HUGE part of perfect duck flavor.

Geese are a totally different matter. Geese are 1) big, 2) likely to be older, which means tougher. (how old is your bird? feel the keel bone, which separates the two halves of the breast, and if it is pliable you have a young bird. If it is rigid, it's mature-to-old) I *would* brine a goose, but be sure to put spices/herbs of your choice in the brine as a tradeoff to losing the blood, which will seep out of the meat as it brines. Geese, like ducks, need to be served medium-to-rare. (unless you crock-pot them or make jerky) Geese also make AMAZING sausage mixed with fat taken from a domestic goose or pork fat.

OK, OK, I could go on for hours. (I was a professional cook) But hopefully this will help. PM me if you have any questions.

d.j.
I love all of God's creatures, properly prepared.
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Postby kingbee » Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:38 pm

That helps a lot! I have cooked a couple so that the blood is gone, but its more like jerky than a good steak. And I cooked a coupe Medium to Medium Well, and they were some of the most tender pieces of meat I have ever had.

I soaked them in salt water for a day. Im not sure if thats the same thing as brine, Im not sure what brine is. But I just do that to take some of the "game" taste from them. My wife doesnt eat it if I dont. But Ill try to not soak the next couple birds I get.

I find that grilling the meat helps take some of the game taste from it. Ill feel better about biting into a bloody piece of duck/goose now.

Thanks!
Mallards - 5
Woodie - 1
Bluewing - 1
Geese - 0
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Postby Fooniespucker » Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:16 pm

Hey Kingbee,

Like my esteemed culinary colleague Duckjumper I too am from California and do not bleed my ducks. I would like to add Doves into the dark meat/red meat category.

Not to toot my own horn but I think you might want to take a glance at my posts for duck recipes.

IMHO you have to cook ducks HOT & FAST or they will grey up and taste like leather.

I don't understand why your ducks are so gamey. If these were early season birds did they get too warm, or perhaps stay uncleaned for a day or so? If the birds are feeding on grains and aren't mud ducks they shouldn't need to be bled.

As far as Geese, well that's another subject for another time. Good prep should eliminate any smell unless the birds have been hanging out in processed sewage water, it happens out in the S.F. Bay.

Here are some prep tips:

On warm early season days, bring a cooler
If it has pin feathers, it's breasting material, do not pluck
Cut out any bloodshot areas, bloodshot ruins meat, and makes stinky
Fully plucked birds, take a lighter/hot burner and singe the feather stems
Always wash gutted birds with cold water, and pat dry before freez/cookin
Remove all the lungs(I use a little brush) and kidneys.
Cook Hot & Fast

The only way you can screw it up it to over cook it. You are sure killing the right kind of birds Kingbee, keep at it and you'll turn your wife into a duck junky. Enjoy and good luck Kingbee

A departing question, do you pluck your birds or do you breast them?
Let'em work
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Postby Fooniespucker » Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:27 pm

Oops, I forgot to add that a brine is almost the same as a marinade except it indicates a high sodium level. After hunting keep your birds in the back of the truck, not in a heated cab. Say you go into town on a 2 day trip and have a full strap of birds from the day's shoot. Don't keep them in the motel room, leave them in the back of the truck overnight.

o.k. I am going now..
Let'em work
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Postby kingbee » Wed Nov 08, 2006 7:33 am

Thanks for the help. I breast out the ducks as soon as I get home. Its been cold enough outside that I just keep them in the cold water next to me after I shoot them.
Mallards - 5
Woodie - 1
Bluewing - 1
Geese - 0
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Location: Wadsworth, Ohio

Postby duckjumper » Thu Nov 09, 2006 2:07 pm

I'm with Fooney (one of the better names on this site, BTW) on everything except for the breasting/plucking issue. I pluck every bird I kill because I am an incurable duck junkie and want to eat everything but the quack. I eat gizzards, livers and hearts, and I render the fat out of the butts, and make stock from necks for soup.

The only birds I break down are the really shot-up ones, which I make into ravioli.

That said, to each his own on the breasting thing. Good luck out there!

d.j.
I love all of God's creatures, properly prepared.
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