This method of preparing wild duck is one of my favorites, and it’s pretty simple. Store-bought duck tastes pretty good like this, too, but nothing beats a freshly-procured mallard. Well, maybe two wood ducks…
Take the whole (okay, cleaned and gutted) duck, and put it in a bowl of cold salted water. Not brine, but salty enough that you wouldn’t want to drink it. Let it soak for at least an hour.
While it’s soaking, prepare the dressing. Stir together equal amounts of raisins and chopped apples. Throw in a handful of chopped walnuts. Now add an amount of half-cooked wild rice equal in volume to what’s already in the bowl.
When the duck’s salty bath is done, stuff it full of the apples/raisins/rice. Roast it like any other bird, just baste it twice as often. Enjoy in front of a large wood fire with a good red wine. Just try not to eat it all at once…
Chuck Jones and Michael Maltese offer several possibilities:
From Rabbit Fire, 1951 BUGS: (Pulls cookbook out of hole and reads) Spitted duck Florentine with Horseradish . . . nice . . . Filet of duck Bordelaise, maitre d’ butter . . . yum-yum . . .
Duck polonaise under glass . . . mm . . .mmmmmmmmmmm. DAFFY: (Daffy grabs book of his own from hole and reads) Rabbit au gratin de gelatine under tooled leather . . . drool, drool . . . BUGS: Barbecued duck meat with broiled duck bill milanese . . . Yum-my yum!! DAFFY: Chicken fried rabbit with cotton tail sauce braised carrots . . . umh, mmmmmmm . . . ELMER: I’m sowwy, fewwas, but I’m a vegetarian . . . I just hunt for the sport of it!!! Heh-heh-heh
As mentioned above, the wild rice stuffing sounds pretty good. There is a nut-like flavor to it that compliments the bird quite nicely. Having finally had the shade lifted from my eyes about orange sauce while in Taiwan, I would also have to suggest the classic Duck a l’Orange and another hot possibility, Caneton a l’Orange. You might wish to go to Epicurious.com for some more ducky ideas. Be sure to score the skin so that the fat is more easily released. Also, place the bird on a wire rack so that it sits above the copious amout of liquids it sometimes releases. I would recommend a pinot noir blanc to pair with it. Some Danish brown potatoes would compliment the orange sauce quite nicely and cauliflower would be an inobtrusive vegetable to go with it all. Let us know how it turns out.
I’ll usually soak the breasts in milk when I first get in from the field. An hour or two later I’ll roll 'em in egg and batter with bread crumbs and chicken fry them. Serve over wild rice and watch the hair sprout from your chest.