If you like hunting ducks, then “Duck, Duck, Goose,” by Hank Shaw, is a cookbook you should own.  Hank Shaw’s first book, “Hunt, Gather, Cook,” took us fishing, hunting and foraging, which I wanted to love but the book was in black and white and just not very sexy, in spite of the great recipes and his wonderful blog.  “Duck, Duck, Goose,” is everything we wanted in the first book, but is focused solely on ducks and geese.  The book has everything you need to know about them, starting with how to hang, pluck and eviscerate them, or how to make goose neck sausages (the ultimate natural casing.)  He rightly points out that duck and goose meat is hormone and antibiotic-free, so it’s your original Paleo friendly bird.  You want Canvasbacks and other birds that are grass and seed fed, not the fishy eaters for a fine table meal of waterfowl.  He also emphasizes that when cooking duck it is more helpful to think of it as beef than fowl; the breast is steak; the rest of the bird is the brisket.  The skin is what makes duck truly special and  duck confit, the French preserve of duck skin and leg cooked slowly in its own fat, “has become many a chef’s deathbed meal.”  “Cooking duck is not rocket science;” the book’s primary goal is to make that little bit of specialized duck cooking knowledge accessible; my favorite Shaw line here: “to free ourselves from the Tryanny of Chicken.”  As Shaw recommends, “mastering these birds will make you a more competent carnivore.”

Duck Bulgogi, from Hank Shaw’s “Duck, Duck, Goose”

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 4 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons peeled and chopped fresh ginger
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 pounds skinless duck breasts
  • kimchi and cooked white rice, for serving
  • black sesame seeds, for garnish, optional

 

Instructions:

In a blender, combine the vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, onions, ginger, garlic, and sugar and puree until smooth.  Put the duck breasts in a container just large enough to accommodate them, pour in the marinade, and turn to coat evenly.  Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours

When you are ready to cook, set up the grill as directed on page 62.  Remove the duck breasts from the marinade, pat dry, and set aside.  Pour the marinade into a small saucepan, bring to a boil over medium high heat, and boil for 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and keep warm.

Coat the duck breasts with a little oil as directed in the grilling instructions, then grill as directed.

Transfer the duck breasts to a cutting board, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 minutes.  Slice the breasts thinly and arrange on  dinner plates along with the kimchi and rice.  Drizzle the hot marinade over the duck, then sprinkle the sesame seeds over everything.  Serve with a cold lager or pilsner.