Tuesday, October 21, 2008

After the kill: Eating the WHOLE duck

Sometimes I accidentally create the illusion that I am a master game chef, just by writing about how well Boyfriend and I eat.

In reality, though, I'm merely the No. 1 Food Photographer and Taste Tester for the real chef in the house: Boyfriend.

Boyfriend does lots of fabulous food writing in his blog, Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, all the time. But today's post is something I wanted to share because it goes over how to eat the whole duck.

It's something we're asked about all the time, particularly when I do things like post photos of piles of duck feet and innards, as I did in this weekend's story of our opening day hunt. So if you've been dying to know what happens to those feet, now's your chance to find out. Just click here.

And speaking of that opening day post, if you haven't checked out the comments section on that one, it's worth going back to take a look. We had quite an interesting discussion after an anonymous non-hunter weighed in to ask how hunters feel about crippling and losing animals. I think we all came out of it with a little more understanding for each other, and a good reading list for people who want to understand the minds and hearts of hunters. Good stuff!

© Holly A. Heyser 2008


SimplyOutdoors said...

I thought the dialogue in that opening day post was some of the best I've seen between hunters, and non-hunters. It was great.

The Hunter's Wife said...

I don't think I can click here to see about the innards.

I will have to go back and read that first post. I read it the other day and didn't get a chance to come back to it after all the comments.

NorCal Cazadora said...

The innards were in the photo at the end of the post - and don't worry, it wasn't a gutpile. Just gizzards and livers and stuff. Wholesome, nutritious organ meats, Jody!

Anonymous said...

One of my new goals in life is to have a meal with you and Hank, Holly. Hank has to cook though. Just reading his posts makes me hungry.

NorCal Cazadora said...

Don't worry - the only thing I usually prepare for guests is guacamole (though I make a mean spread of tacos from 100 percent scratch, and my turkey mole rocks).

Holler if you're ever in NorCal (SF, Sacramento or even Tahoe/Reno) - we'd definitely have you over for dinner.

Tom Sorenson said...

I would love to seee how Hank prepares a meal - I mean I've eaten gizzards, liver, etc - and have only found that as more reason to not pack them out! I admit, though, I've never eaten them off a duck - only off big game animals. My dad likes gizzard and liver fried like a steak with onions - which sounds great to me, since I love meat and I love fried onions - but the taste of those gizzards/liver...well, it just doesn't sit right. Seems like all the gamey taste sits right there. So, yes, I need to learn from your master chef.

NorCal Cazadora said...

Well, our dirty little secret is that we never eat liver prepared whole.

We tried it once with the liver of a lovely wild hog, expectations high. As we bit into it, we were both quiet. I sliced off a small piece for our Rubenesque cat, Paka, and handed it to her.

She loves game meat. Whenever we eat duck or venison, she circles our table like a shark. But this stuff? She spit it out and walked away.

Boyfriend and I laughed, pushed the liver aside and turned our forks to the side dish.

Now he uses liver in sausages and raviolis, like the dish he made at our duck hunters dinner at the end of the last season. And I'm glad he's found a use for it, because my doc says I need lots of Vitamin A, and liver is the best place to get it.

Native said...

I find it very amusing that the antis are actually attacking their own food source!
ie: prop 28 I believe it is, that will require chicken farmers to free range their stock which will in turn reduce the number of chickens raised and thus costing the consumer 5 times the current amount for a fryer.

Just starve us (and themselves) out of existence and then the animals will be safe?

The propaganda machine which the antis, along with Wayne Pacelle and their ilk show on T.V. are not, the norm. And in fact, laws are already set into place requiring animal farmers to humanely treat their stock or they will be shut down!

The same holds true for hunting as well and the examples would be:
*Big Game Hunting requirements are 30 caliber or larger "only" in order to insure a humane and clean killing of the animal!
*Responsible Retrieval requirements for wounded game!
*Strict and Set Shooting Hours!

The list goes on and on and most of the legalities which are written into law involve (Humane Treatment Of The Animals Being Hunted)

And as we all can see by all of these posts here, that most "all" hunters go above and beyond the legal requirements to insure the safe and humane treatment of "all" animals.

Just goes to show you that the Extreme Antis are actually and quite simply, Anti Human Being!

Native said...

The above comment was ment for: Hunters Helping The Critters We Hunt!

NorCal Cazadora said...

Actually, Native, I understand all the key players behind Prop. 2 are vegans. Just as with their anti-hunting campaigns, Prop. 2 is not about better animal husbandry; it is simply another chess move for them to try to checkmate omnivores out of existence.

Tom Sorenson said...

Interesting, Holly. Will have to try that now. Makes sense that it'd make a good "filler" and sausage is a strong enough taste as to sort of hide the different liver flavor. Will look into this, for sure!

Anonymous said...

I am no expert chef either but I sure have fun trying.

Cory Glauner said...

I've gotta admit that I kind of "choke down" my ducks. I need to learn better ways to cook 'em.

NorCal Cazadora said...

Oh the humanity!

Duck is hands-down my favorite meat to eat. If you're choking it down, my first recommendation is to make sure it's rare to medium rare. If it's cooked gray to the center, it'll suck.

The other thing is to cook it whole, or if you're of the breast-it-out school, at least keep the skin with it. Like chicken skin, duck skin is delicious and fatty.

I just did an article about the whole duck that goes over plucking and dressing. If you want me to email you a pdf of it, email me here.

Also, sometime soon Boyfriend and I will develop a video demo on the same topic.