Hunk of Meat Monday: How to prepare & marinate duck

Today is a feature from my fellow North Dakotan Al Winmill. He has tips and trick in preparing duck. Take a read…
My love of hunting has spurred many conversations in the social media world and Katie asking me to talk about how I cook duck was something I was interested in. I’ve heard from a lot of people who say they don’t like to eat duck. In my experience those people have had poorly prepared duck. I’m going to share my technique for cooking duck, one that goes over well with people who already know they like it and those who haven’t and are skeptical. It’s not really a recipe, so bear with me and feel free to use this as a guideline and tweak it as you’d like.

Katie has offered to have me out at she and her husband’s North Dakota home to hunt geese, about 180 miles from where I live in Fargo, ND. I’m going to get there, trust me.

When preparing to cook duck, I start out with duck breasts that have been cleaned thoroughly and stored in freezer bags – taking good care of your wild game as soon as you bring it home is one of the keys to having good table fare. They thaw out from the time I go to work until the time I get to work usually, and if they’re still a little frozen I run warm water over them in the freezer bags.

After the duck is thawed out, it’s time to put some marinade together. I personally don’t like the taste of waterfowl as much as I like upland birds like pheasant and grouse, but with a good marinade the meat can turn out pretty amazing. For this I used 3/4 bottle of store bought marinade – it doesn’t really matter what kind, I used sesame ginger flavor this time but have used all sorts of different marinades.
I also used about 1/4 cup of riesling wine – this helps tenderize the meat and adds a little more sweetness.

I added 1/4 cup of soy sauce (Less Sodium because it just feels right) and one of my favorite seasonings, garlic salt. The garlic salt helps break down the meat a little bit as well, making a tender fillet. I let the ducks soak in the marinade mixture overnight (and until I get home from work) so it has time to soak in and really get working.
When I get home, I really get after it. I pull out the marinade injector. This little syringe helps shoot flavor juice into the inside of the fillet, and it’s awesome. It might be my favorite tool in the kitchen. 
Stick each breast half a few times with the injector and then it’s bacon time. Yup, bacon. I wrap each fillet in a piece or two of bacon and hold it in place with a few strategically placed toothpicks.
It was too dark when I was making these to get a picture of the grill with the bacon wrapped duck fillets on it, but it was a beautiful thing. Not only does the bacon impart a delicious flavor and add a little something to a very lean cut of meat, but it also helps you know how long to grill them. Put your grill on medium (I guess I don’t know how you’d do that with a charcoal grill, I’m a gas man myself) and flip the fillets a few times, and once the bacon is done your fillets will be done perfectly*.

When they’re done, you feast. My roommate and I did work on these when they were done and luckily his first experience with duck was a good one. He’ll be asking for more. The wine from the marinade is a great choice to drink with your dinner. We’re kind of weird and don’t always eat sides or anything with our dinner (meat is plenty good by itself. This is Hunk of Meat Monday after all), but some nice vegetables would probably treat you right.

Thanks for reading – I hope you get a chance to try duck prepared this way. If you ever get to Fargo, let me know and I’ll fire up the grill.

*No guarantees, this is just my experience. Cook meat thoroughly for health and safety reasons.

Thanks Al! I met Al through Twitter and have met him on several occasions in “real life” also. Al calls me his social media mom which is quite amusing to me. I appreciate his insight, enthusiasm, passion for the outdoors, farming and ability to hunt and then cook what he hunts.
Connect with him: 
I am linking this up today for Beyer Beware’s Hunk of Meat Monday. If you are interested in guest posting in the upcoming weeks to share a wild game recipe you enjoy please comment or contact me. 

Do you prepare duck? Any tips or tricks?
Hunk of Meat Mondays

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