Recipe: Tex-Mex Duckling


Tex-Mex Duck Recipe!

Tex-Mex Duck Recipe!


Fewer Recipes in Newspapers

Perhaps it has something to do with the change in newspapers. Thirty years ago, Wednesday’s food sections were brimming with great recipes.

Now, that same section is smaller and tells us about new products arriving on the grocery shelves.

Duck On the Table

Many folks are surprised to hear how nutritious duckling is. It is low in saturated fatty acids and  it is a complete protein.  Duck supplies some iron and 1/2 of our daily requirement for niacin.

If your freezer doesn’t hold a brace of duck, frozen ducking is available year round in most grocery stores. Just look in the frozen meat case, near the turkeys.

Duck With Zip

This one is a favorite. It’s easy and there are countless variations. Today, I’ll share Jalapeno Jelly that is the accompaniment to this duck dish. If you are not into spicy, you could substitute orange marmalade, plum, apricot preserves, etc.

Number of servings is hard to guesstimate; the size of the ducks and portion size are determining factors.


2 frozen duckings, defrosted

1/3 cup Jalapeno Jelly (recipe follows)

2 Tbsp. water

1 1/2 cups rice

2 Tbsp. EACH: butter AND oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 qt, duck or chicken broth

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8  tsp. pepper

Remove giblets and neck from duck cavity. Remove excess fat and discard. Cook giblets and neck in 6 cups lightly salted water for 45 minutes. Reserve broth for rice dressing.

Place duckling(s), breast side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast in a 350 degree oven 45 minutes per pound or until drumstick meat is tender.

Heat Jalapeno Jelly with 2 Tbsp. water, stirring constantly until jelly melts. Baste ducks with jelly mixture last half hour of baking time.

Saute rice in butter and oil until golden, stirring frequently. Add onion, celery and pecans; cook 3 to 4 minutes.  Add water, if necessary to broth to make 4 cups of liquid. Bring broth to a boil; combine with rice, vegetables, nuts, salt and pepper. Turn into a 2 qt. casserole, cover and bake in a 375 degree oven 40 minutes.

Rice mixture may also be used as a stuffing for ducks. Add an extra half hour to roasting time if the duck is stuffed.

Jalapeno Jelly

1/4 cup minced green pepper

2 Tbsp. minced, seeded jalapeno peppers

1 1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup white vinegar

1 (3 oz.) package liquid pectin

Combine minces peppers, sugar and vinegar in a saucepan; simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat & add liquid pectin. Cool. Makes 1 2/3 cups. Serve as an accompaniment with the roast duckling.


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Recipe: Turning Wild Birds into Fine Dining


Wild Birds are Fine Dining, at its Best!


The time you spend marinating wild birds will be worth the effort when you get to the dinner table.  Fish-eating ducks call for a marinade of vinegar, wine or buttermilk. Older duck or goose will be more flavorful after a bath in (1/2 tsp. salt and 1 Tbsp. vinegar per quart of) cold water.  Leave the ducks in this marinade 4 – 12 hours in the refrigerator – to improve tenderness and flavor.

General Wild Duck Info

Duck meat is best cooked rare.  The meat is dark, dense and dry. That’s why you see so many recipes calling for cooking duck in a covered roaster with several slices of bacon spread over the duck body. Another option is to use a slow cooker with your duck(s). All of these strategies help retain moisture in an otherwise dry meat. Lots of folks are surprised to find that wild duck can be barbecued. However, the most common way to cook wild ducks is to dredge them through flour and spices, fry the outside and smother in gravy and bake for 3 or 4 hours.

Wild Goose

The great thing about wild goose is that there is so little waste with this bird. Young bird is absolutely delicious while older birds tend to be tough and poor prospects for tenderizing with moist heat. Therefore, next time you go hunting, make sure you get a young one!   😉  You know you have an old goose when you see: pinfeathers, very large wing spurs and overall -rather coarse feathers.**

Stuff the goose with your choice: sliced tart apples OR breaded stuffing with tart apples and onions. I’ll end this posting with one of my favorite duck recipes. Next time I add recipes, I’ll include: Chesapeake Barbecued Duck and Roasted Wild Duck.   But today’s recipe is:


Holly Gravy Duck

1 cup quality oil

1 cup flour

4 cups water

Make a dark roux with the oil and flour (this requires time and nearly constant stirring). The roux – when ready – is the color of an old penny. Take the roux off heat, let cool for a few minutes (5 – 10) {this is to lower the temperature of the pot so you aren’t scalded when you add the water}, put back on stove and add water and seasonings:

2 Tbsp. celery seed                           dash of pepper

1 Tbsp. salt per duck                        1 Tbsp. chili powder per duck

1 clove garlic per duck

Stir until spices are dispersed and gravy starts to thicken. Pour this gravy over the ducks in the roaster, cover and cook @ 350 degrees for 3 or 4 hours.


**There’s more info on pin feathers and wing spurs in this article:  “What do Pin Feathers on a Duck Look Like?”


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Turn Wild Birds into Gourmet Fare (2 of 2)

Here’s another great recipe for doves.

Dove and Sausage Gumbo

15 dove breasts

1 (10.5 oz) can consomme

1 beef-flavored bouillon cube

1/2 cup vegetable oil (I use olive oil)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 and 1/2 cups finely chopped onion

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

2 Tbs. Worcestershire Sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 to 2 bay leaves

1/2 tsp. dried whole basil

1/4 tsp. poultry seasoning

1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

1/8 tsp. ground red pepper

1/8 tsp. ground allspice

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

3/4 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1/4″ slices

1/4 cup dry red wine

1/8 tsp. hot sauce

Hot cooked rice

Place dove breasts in Dutch oven and cover with water; boil  about 10 minutes. Cool and remove meat from bones.  Reserve cooking liquid in Dutch oven, adding water if necessary to make 2 and 1/4 cups liquid. Set meat aside.

Add consomme and bouillon cube to Dutch oven. Cook until bouillon cube is dissolved.

Brown dove in hot oil in a large skillet; drain well.  Pour off all but 1/4 cup oil. Add flour to reserved oil, cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until roux is the color of a  copper penny (about 10 to 15 minutes).

Gradually add about 1 and 1/2 cups of consomme mixture to roux; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Stir in onion and celery and cook about 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add roux mixture to remaining consomme mixture and stir well. Stir in next 9 ingredients (Worcestershire to cloves).

Brown sausage and drain well. Stir sausage and dove into roux mixture, simmer  1 and 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add wine & hot sauce, stir well.

Remove bay leaves, adjust seasonings and serve gumbo over rice. Yield: about 1 and 3/4 quarts (about 1/2 gallon). Freezes well, gumbo is better tasting the second day than the first!


Sherry Duck

(This is very flexible – yet the results are wonderful.  As you can see, this is a very casual recipe!   Folks with OCD {Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder} will have a hard time deciding how much of each ingredient to use!)

butter OR Crisco

pepper & seasoned salt

2 or 3 strips of bacon (don’t use turkey bacon – it lacks the fat necessary to moisturize the meat)

Chopped: apple, onion  & celery

Mix chopped items, sprinkle with a bit of seasoned salt and add to the cavity of the duck(s).  Spread butter or crisco, salt and pepper on the top of duck(s); place in covered roaster.

Pour water until there’s about 1/4 inch of water in the bottom of the roaster (around the ducks) and put 2 – 3 strips of bacon across the ducks. Cook covered at 400 degrees for 2 and 1/2 to 3 hours — check on water occasionally (don’t let the pan/roaster dry out).

Let ducks sit for ~ 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with this sauce poured over slices.

Sherry Duck Sauce

1 stick butter

3 Tbls. currant jelly

3 caps of Sherry wine

1 Tbls. spicy mustard

Mix together, heat and serve over ducks, as desired.


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