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142 responses to “Coming Soon: Duck, the Cookbook”

  1. Joe Navari

    I would love to get a really great wild duck liver pate recipe. I have made a bunch of them, but have yet to find the perfect one. They all come out pretty good, but I don’t have a “go to” recipe for wild duck livers.

  2. Butterpoweredbike

    Congrats to both you and Holly! Good news for those of us that enjoy eating birds as well. Will there be recipes for using the duck/goose fat? That sort of thing would interest me.

  3. T3

    Oh god…. Duck.


  4. Nathan Z

    Loved Hunt, Gather, Cook. Will for sure be picking up the new book!

    Growing up my all time favorite treat around holidays was a huge platter of smoked meats, mainly duck and goose, that my uncle would bring.

    I’m sure you’ll be including this, but a technical explanation around properly smoking birds would be hugely useful. Especially how to go a little overboard with the smokey taste, the way it was done in the family.

    Goose summer sausage would be a good recipe to have as well!

  5. Florian

    Congratulations! If you find yourself looking for a couple extra recipes, I’d be happy to help. I don’t think I’ve put many duck dishes on my blog yet, but I certainly have a few in stock.

  6. Shade Sullins

    Hi Hank,
    The most important thing I would like to see would be methods for the correct way to cook duck. I’ve never met an avid duck hunter (other than you) that knew anything about cooking duck. Most look at me in shock when I talk about using the whole duck and saving the fat. I would also like to see methods for breaking down a duck/goose. Receipts for wild duck liver. Receipts for parts other than the breast meat.
    I can’t wait for this book. The jaws will hit the floor when I show other duck hunters that marinating in Coke and brown sugar, wrapped in bacon and burnt to crispy is NOT the way to cook duck.

  7. Shade Sullins

    And duck sausage! That too!

  8. Kevin

    Duck gumbo. Most duckhunters here in the South that don’t really know how to cook them make gumbo, and it is often…uh…not that great.

    A good beak recipe too. They always seem undercooked.

  9. marshall

    Hey dude,

    I’ll have more, but here’s a couple I’d like to see. I’d really like to know how you might do a beer-can duck or goose. I do it regularly at home (with a hoisin glaze) but rarely get the temprature right. Where would you put the coals etc.? Also, is there a way to debone the duck while it is still in its general shape, like restaurants do with quail? That would be a great technique to know. I think lastly, for now, actual picture techniques for neck-stuffing would be great. Now that I think about it, something like the flavor bible discussing, generally, what spices, fruits, veggies, cheeses etc. go with duck would be great. I mean, if it is the definitive cookbook, shouldnt it also tell us everything that goes great with duck so we can look in our pantrys and throw something together that “should” taste good (or at least go together)?

  10. Fshrmon

    Hello Hank;

    First off congrats to you and Holly. That’s great news and I’m looking forward to adding this book to my library. Right next to Hunt, Gather, Cook.

    I’m a newbie to hunting, so a chapter on proper techniques for post processing, with photos, breaking down the parts, breasting out, etc. — would be very helpful. I’d also agree with the comments above about proper cooking techniques that would also be a huge benefit.

  11. Chris Gorman

    I’d love to see how to break them down (from the feathers for the hunter/chefs among us).. Jerky, curing, smoking, etc would rank high on my list… Duck Curry (Thai) has always been a favorite dish

  12. Roman

    So to clean, de-bone and cut a whole duck to utilize as much of the animal as possible.

    Confit! It seems so accessible, especially to duck hunters, but as with Risotto, I believe the general public is very much afraid of it, and seems it as too complicated.

    Just my thoughts!

  13. Christian Brooks


    Congrats! This is a much needed book. Living in a major flyway of the country, it is surprising how many hardcore duck hunters (1000+ ducks a season) do not eat the meat. Most of them (non eaters) have had bad experiences with cooking and have written it off entirely. Anyway, I think that Geese preparation could specifically use a little TLC in the inspiration department. As we seem to have a ever increasing amount of Canadian Geese sticking it out year around in this part of the country, depredation permits are being handed out to home owners associations, golf courses etc. Point being, the opportunity to hunt geese is accelerating yet almost every hunter I know considers them inedible: too “livery” or too stinky, and thus have little motivation to actually hunt them.

  14. Andrew

    Congrats! Very cool

    — A chapter on sea and fish ducks.
    — A chapter on methods of cleaning, hanging, skinning, and plucking ducks. This is the single biggest barrier to proper duck cookery. Also try to include the fact that not one size fits all.
    — Not as though you’ll do differently, but keep it as close to authentic and ethnic as possible (meaning no canned mushroom soup recipes).
    — Charcuterie.
    — Lots of photos including gory ones — they’re important.

  15. Mary Garnes

    Congratulations to both you and Holly! Very exciting news.

    A short list of duck mysteries I’d love to learn:

    1) How to handle duck fat, and what to cook with it. I’ve heard duck fat fries are supposed to be heavenly.

    2) How to cook a whole, small wild game duck.

    3)Any kind of charcuterie.

  16. Theodore

    I want to add my congratulations as well! Hunt, Gather, Cook has been my go-to cookbook since I got it a couple months back and as I’m starting hunting this Fall I’m sure it’ll get even more use.

    As far as duck goes – I second all the calls for how to pluck and break-down the birds after hunting, as well as a good pate recipe.

  17. Kendra Bailey Morris

    Big congrats, Hank! I can’t wait to get a copy. My neighbor is a big duck hunter and it would make a nice gift for him.

    P.S. I just signed on to do a second book with Ten Speed Press yesterday as well. They are awesome.

    Good luck on that tight deadline. Know I’ll be right there with ya. Pub date for me is summer 2013.


  18. J.R. Young

    First, congrats on the book deal, that is awesome. I’m glad it will be an in-depth book too.

    I think there is potential for the non-hunter duck eater since whenever I see duck in the store it is often whole. I would guess there are many novices out there that may be either frightened by a whole duck or more importantly not using it to it’s full potential. So with that in mind :
    – How to process a whole ducked (plucked)
    – How to sear the breasts.
    – How to make confit with the legs
    – How to make stock with the carcass
    – How to can stock with the carcass
    – How to make a sauce from your stock
    – How to make a soup from your stock.

    And of course plenty of focus on specific recipes for both wild and farmed duck:
    – peking duck
    – smoked duck
    – roast duck (for Thanksgiving or Christmas)
    – duck sausage (with an array of styles, country, hunter, italian, spicy, smoked, etc. etc.)
    – and of course a variety of recipes for seared/roasted duck breast including classic preparations as well as modern, and the book wouldn’t be complete with out several foraged pairings in the form of a sauce, starch or fruit/vegetable.

  19. Chris

    I can’t wait to get my hands on the book!!! The above suggestions are great. Additionally some notes on sourcing the fowl would be excellent. Of particular help would be a chapter on raising your own for specifc culinary traits. There’s a sustainable farm food revolution happening and many of us small farmers would love guidance on raising superior food. Help us with breeds, nutrition for the animal, etc to create the perfect bird on a plate. I realize this could appear as outside the scope of the book…but, this is truly starting at the beginning of creating the dish and if we go wrong here it can’t be fixed in the pan later.

  20. Cody K


  21. Neil D

    I know you will, but I want to make sure you give a really clear, simple explanation as to the correct way to cook a duck breast. I’m not sure why people are so turned off by it, but it’s probably because it’s so rarely rendered correctly without being burned.

    Also, definitely include recipes for all the giblets.

  22. Adam J. Wiederman

    Hey Hank,

    Congrats! I think the most interesting angle would be: ways to use all — or as much as possible — of the duck and geese (though I’m sure that’s already on your radar).

    Also, might be interesting to see you walk through the ways various ethnic cuisines use duck/geese — beyond Peking, etc. that most of us are familiar with.

    Can’t wait to read it!


  23. Mark Tigges

    As a nascent grower of ducks, perhaps an appendix on raising ducks (my second favourite protein next to geese) vis a vis feed vs. effect on flavour. Not your expertise I know, but may make appropriate appendix info.


  24. tai haku

    To be perfect for me it would:
    1. open with a little on different species, how and when one might aquire them if not hunting oneself and what recipes each is best for(in section 4 to follow);
    2. move into a number of different processing descriptions of how to move from whole dead duck to ready to cook whole duck, spatchcocked duck and duck reduced into various different useful pieces;
    3. describe generally some duck/goose specific hints and ideas; smoking, roasting, rendering out and using fat, charcuterie, offal use etc and sausage, particular accompaniments one might consider etc etc; and then
    4. finish with a shedload of different recipes to help you put 1-3 into practice.

  25. tai haku

    PS – I was so excited by the idea I forgot to say congratulations!!

  26. dneaster3

    These are the three that I’m always looking for:
    * Wild duck, on the grill, for the non-cook. I need a go-to method for cooking my hard earned duck meat during the summer “grilling season” on the back deck.
    * Duck gizzards. Looks like a lot of great meat, but, uh…what do I do with it?
    * What to do with the odds and ends of a truly shot-up duck. Example: last season I harvested a wood duck at about 6 paces from the end of my gun barrel, which obliterated a lot of the meat. How can I salvage what’s left into a fitting meal?

    Looking forward to the book and the photos!

  27. Kelly

    I’d also like to learn more about duck and goose-raising and how that affects quality. I live in Germany these days, and for the last two years I have tried to make the local family happy with either duck or goose at Christmas. (One year I did a turkey, which came out great, but didn’t please the traditionalists…) So far my attempts have been dismal failures. We have been buying from a local farm, and I think the birds look pretty lean for domestic birds, so maybe they need a different treatment than the standard supermarket fare? Or are they just improperly raised? Christmas goose is big business around here, so nearly every farmer has geese. I would get them somewhere else if I thought it would help, but I really think it might be my technique.
    FWIW, my dad hunted goose and duck when I was a kid, but never plucked them, just skinned. And we rarely ate innards or legs, just the breast. Everything else was too much work.

  28. Nick Burnett

    Terrific topic!

    Remember the game we played as kids, running around in a circle? Duck, duck, goose! Great potential title!


  29. Charlotte

    unusual cooking methods, recipes from around the world. You always do such a nice job of telling those of us without access to all the wonderful wild foodstuffs how to proceed. I hope you include plenty of that.

  30. Erika

    Congratulations on the book deal, Hank!

    I’ve dealt with many, many, many wild ducks and geese, and the one thing that I’ve yet to figure out is how to get super crispy skin on a Canvasback without over cooking it. I really don’t think it’s possible, but if you can figure it out then my hat is off to you.

  31. sam

    Congratulations! If you could do a Chinese style roast duck or goose that would be fantastic.

  32. jamie carlson

    That is really great news, I am certain it will be as incredible as, Hunt Gather Cook and I am already looking forward to the book tour and duck dinners. I would love to see a duck neck sausage using the odd bits as filling.

  33. Sara Thompson

    We’re fairly new to the whole world outside of beef, pork and chicken. I bought a butchered rabbit this summer because I want to get my own but I had no idea how to cook it. It’s not like my meat thermometer had a rabbit setting so I’m pretty sure I undercooked it which was okay. I had no idea if I had a good rabbit but we liked it. I asked the woman how to cook it and she threw out some recipes that pretty much were variations on how to cook it in cream of mushroom soup. I wanted to taste the rabbit so I would know if it was something we’d eat later. I know this is a story about a rabbit but I would feel the same way about a duck – how do I know I got a good one? What’s an easy way to cook the duck so I can taste the meat? Temperatures? Methods that are absolute no-nos? Things to look for as a beginning duck eater? Please hold my hand through the process because I’d like to try more meats so that we can start to grow and process our own but it’s intimidating.

  34. Suzanne Wilson

    I think cooks will find it very useful to discuss the different types of wild ducks and geese and how a cooking style may suit one over the other and juxtapose that against a domestic duck/goose. Always good to have a section on the best way to remove the feathers. Duck fat is wonderful so, a quickie on how to render and store duck/goose fat. I’d also do a chart on pairing duck/goose with fruits and spices. You may want to consider throwing some wine/beer pairings with your recipes!

  35. Casey@Good. Food. Stories.

    I cannot believe no one else has quoted Billy Madison to you yet, so let me be the first to say “that’s quack-tastic!” Seriously.

  36. Mark Coleman

    Maybe a section on things to avoid? I’m sure I’ve done things that caused my ducks to turn out less than tasty but never could figure out what went wrong. There must be a list of things that just don’t agree with duck, the “never, ever, ever do these”.

  37. Douglas Moran

    Ditto on cleaning methods. When to pluck vs skin, hanging time, charcuterie and appetizers.

    Plus, recipes for shovelers, coots, and the like

  38. Robert

    Lots of good comments here regarding specific recipes. I’ll just say that I’d like the book take into account the different settings in which readers might be cooking and different groups they might be cooking for. I think it would be great to have recipes ranging from those that are perfect for a dinner for two where plentiful time and correct equipment are at a premium and those recipes that are well suited to short timelines (and probably less well stocked kitchens/pantries) during an afternoon at the duck club when you’re feeding a larger grouop of folks who’ve been up since 4 a.m. (I’m thinking big pots, dutch ovens, gumbos, chilis, etc.). The latter group of recipes may fall into your “dead easy” category, but there are substantially worse things in life than a bowl (or two) of duck chili and a glass (or two) of bourbon after a day afield.

    Also – if you don’t work in old fashioned stone ground grits (think butter, stock, and heavy cream) as a bed on which to serve some duck somewhere, you’re missing something great!

  39. steelchef

    My congrats also. You are a very busy guy and we all appreciate what you share.
    I am up for at least 3 copies of your new book. One for me and the others will make excellent Christmas gifts.
    I have hunted ducks and geese for many years and the only way my family would eat these birds was to disguise the gamey/fishy flavour with heavy spices and aromatics.
    Over time we have learned to brine them thoroughly before preparing in any way
    I suggest you devote some space to where the birds are harvested, their habitat and migratory routes. Many of the critters native to our, (prairie) area live largely on grains while other, (migratory) species are big fish eaters. The taste difference is huge.
    The steam/roast or steam/smoke/roast methods have worked best for us. The fave around here is a Chinese inspired steamed and roasted bird, (duck or goose.) We add five-spice and other Asian aromatics to the brine which totally eliminates any of the gamey/fishy flavour.
    I like to accumulate the wings, (freeze them in vacuum) then have a big wing feast, usually around Christmas or New Years. Some of those goose wings are a complete meal. People have been known to forego Mass to attend this feast!

  40. Katie

    That’s so exciting! I love duck, but have always been intimidated about cooking it. Speaking for the novices out there, I would love to see a section on the super-basics of purchasing and preparing duck. What to look for in the supermarket? How to get it ready for cooking? What are the simplest methods of cooking, and what are the step-by-step techniques for it? What are the ways it can go wrong, and how can you tell it’s gone wrong?

    Congratulations to you and Holly. Looking forward to seeing the book!

  41. Joel

    Another vote for curing/charcuterie. Asian dishes would also be welcome.

  42. Danimal

    Hey Hank,

    Congrats, this is awesome! I’m really stoked, especially as I have a new Duck/Goose spot for this year’s season. Gonna be a delicious Fall! With regards to what I would like to see, I would say a mix of whole fowl recipes with parts (legs, breats, liver), along with different cooking modalities (hot grill, stovetop griddle, braised, smoked). I would say at most 2 sausage recipes, as there are tons of sausage books out there. Oh, and one last thing…you always have such cool main ingredients, if you can incorporate some of those seasonal awesome things (mushrooms, other wild goodies), but also give an alternative for those of us who live no where near California, (dried vs fresh morels) that would be awesome!

  43. Guy Balestrieri


    I have substituted a mix of Mallard, Teal, & Shoveler breast meat for your venison in your Venison Chili recipe to make my own Duck Chili that is a big hit on a cold morning in the Duck Blind. Another possible recipe idea for the book? I hope that your new book still gives the wonderful background information & history behind the recipes like your website does.

    I have a great Panko Crusted Sauteed Duck Breast Recipe topped with a Tomato, Basil, Bacon Balsamic Demi Glace that I modified from a Veal Liver recipe at restaurant I used to be GM at. Very simple. Take a Mallard Breast and tenderize with Meat tenderizer until pounded flat (like Veal Parmesan). Flour the tenderized breast, dip in beaten eggs, then cover in Panko Bread crumbs. Sauteed the breast until med-rare to rare (as with any wild duck do not over cook). In separate saute pan add 1/3 cup butter, Diced Tomatoes, Diced Basil,Minced Garlic and cook over high heat. Add three strips pre-cooked crispy bacon crumbled. Add 1/3 cup Veal Stock (Demi Glace preferably homemade)and 3 Tbs balsamic vinegar. Reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes or until sauce is reduced. Top the Sauteed Duck Breast with the sauce and serve with Creamy Alfredo & Choice of Vegetable. Just another simple recipe idea.

  44. Erin

    My husband would like to know the correct procedure for field dressing the ducks/geese, removing the feathers and otherwise preparing them for cooking. Also, if you could include some primitive methods to cook them; ie, few supplies and maybe a wood fire.

  45. Frank Nelson

    I have quite a few books on the subject, the one thing none of them has though which you could offer is what you think of different ducks. Is there a particular breed which you feel lends it self to one recipe more than another and why? The why part is really important since without if we do not get the breed you mention or the species we are out of luck. Give me a why and I could make substitutes. One of the dishes I sort of made up in the UK with Mallards was confit served in a roasted red kabucha squash with a side of spinach. It was great and the hunter who got me the birds was quite happy. I am a huge fan of duck. If I can offer any resources let me know.

  46. amiddlinglife

    So excited as not only have I absolutely fallen in love with your blog, but I have been desperate to find a good duck and goose cookbook. [I’m currently wondering how to get my hands on hollyleaf redberry seeds to try to propagate for my garden.] In addition to all of the very many fantastic ideas already mentioned, I would add my vote for using gizzards, hearts, etc. I would also vote for various cured preparations that don’t require any additional pork fat. Maybe sausages where you use the neck skin as casing (read about it, but never found detailed directions or recipes.) I’m guessing that because of the nature of duck and goose fat that for most charcuterie, pork fat would be a natural complement, but I think it would add a lot to what is available elsewhere if you could do offer suggestions that don’t include pork. (I’ve read references to jewish charcuterie in france and italy, but can’t find actual guides/cookbooks.)

    I don’t suppose a page or two on duck and goose egg prep/differences would make sense . . .

  47. Diana Welsch

    French fries cooked in rendered duck fat.

  48. Harry


    I would like to see a few different recipies for odds and ends (hearts, gizzards, and as mentioned above a couple different recipes for pate–one with egg yolks in more of a custardy sort, like your liver creme caramel).

    Also, a good at-hope recipe for confit that doesn’t, like most cookbook recipes, call for a quart of duck fat.

    Congrats on the book. Can’t wait to read it.

  49. Rachel

    This book sounds excellent – how exciting for you!

    Three possible topics for you to cover:
    How to properly age and tenderize freshly-killed birds, when and when not to cook with the skin on, and your recommendations for dental repair after biting into birdshot hidden in the meat.

  50. brent

    I would like to be the first to buy your new book! I eat a lot of duck and cant wait to learn some new recipies. I would really like to see some grilling recipies. Keep up the great work.

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