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Quackers for the Kitchen

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I’ll admit right up front that I’m not much of a duck hunter. It’s not that I don’t love those frosty mornings out on the marsh, watching the flocks winging in, I do.  I just can’t seem to connect when it comes time to fire the gun! I’ve gone duck hunting a handful of times and have managed to make an awful lot of noise with my old Winchester, but I have yet to so much as even cut a feather.

Fortunately, I have enough duck hunting friends, with wing-shooting skills far better than my own, whom I can get some duck breasts off of from time to time. Normally a trade of venison or catfish filets is involved and I always feel like I’ve come out on the better end of the deal. Despite my own difficulty with those feathered cruise missiles, I’m going to keep trying. The Winter phase of the season is set to open up December 7th and will run through January 26th. I’m kind of hoping to finally find success as one part of duck hunting I am pretty good at, is eating them. I love me some duck!

During the early seasons, duck meat usually has a mild flavor, but these later season ducks can be strongly flavored.  If you don’t care for a gamey duck, you can try soaking your cleaned ducks for a few hours in heavily salted water with a big pinch of baking soda.  That will help a lot.  There are some of the old-timer duck hunters out there which recommend placing a half of a small peeled

The first time I tried wild duck, a friend and his wife, both avid waterfowlers, served it to me and I was hooked.  They knew me well enough to know that if they were going to be successful in recruiting me to join their ranks, they were going to have to appeal to my love of fine dining and sure enough, the following weekend I was along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico freezing my toes off in a duck blind!  

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Since then, I’ve enjoyed duck cooked in a variety of recipes, but my favorite still is how I first tried it.  In fried duck fingers, in fact I included this recipe in my wildgame cookbook, Carnivore Country, available on Amazon, but I’ll share it with you here in hopes that you’ll try it and enjoy it as much as I do!

Duck Fingers Done Easy

  • 3 duck breasts

  • 2 cups milk

  • 2 onions sliced into rings

  • ¼ cup of oil

  • 1 cup flour

Cut the breast meat into thin slices.  Place the slices in a bowl, cover them with milk and let them soak a few hours in the fridge.
In a skillet, heat the oil and fry the onion rings.  Drain the milk away from your duck, roll them liberally in flour and fry until golden brown.  Serves four.

As always, if you have any comments, questions or just want to share your success from the woods, give me a shout out at [email protected].  God Bless and Good Hunting!

Lisa MacNeil
Lisa MacNeil
Lisa MacNeil is a reporter for the Hernando Sun as well as a business technology developer, specializing in website development, content management systems, and data analysis.
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