Recipes: Just Ducky with Wild Duck



Our American Heritage


As promised, this is a recipe for barbecued duck, copied years ago from American Rifleman (October 1978)

Chesapeake Barbecued Duck

Split whole ducks in halves; flatten with side of cleaver.

Place on rack in flat bake pan and bake @ 375 degrees for 1 hour. Baste every 10 minutes with BBQ Sauce (recipe is next). Turn and cook other side for 1 hour. Continue basting.

BBQ Sauce (for Wild Duck)

1/2 pound of butter                              ground pepper, to taste

1/2 cup catsup                                     1tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. sugar – brown                          1 clove pressed garlic

1 and 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice                 1 small onion – chopped

1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce                 1/2 tsp. Tabasco Sauce

Mix ingredients and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer sauce, covered, for 5 minutes. Makes enough sauce for 4 duck halves.


Roast Wild Duck *

* Taken from The Houston Chronicle, Food Section, late1970’s or 1980

1 (3 to 5 pound) wild duck

salt and pepper

1 small onion, sliced

1 medium apple, sliced

Wine or orange juice

Season duck inside and out with salt and pepper. Put onion and apple into cavity of duck. Place on rack of roasting pan. Do not cover. (If it is an old bird, cover for the last half of the cooking time.)

Do not add water. Cook at 325 degrees for 2 – 3 hours, or until tender. Baste occasionally with wine or orange juice. Remove apple and onion before serving. Serves 6.


This Recipe is part of a series:

So far, there have been 6 recipe postings


  • Just Ducky – Wild Duck – Chesapeake Barbecued                                          Duck and Roasted Wild Duck



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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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