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

  1. just ducky « Culinaria Eugenius

    […] coming out with a new cookbook for duck and geese, much to the delight of us all. You can read more about it at his award-winning blog, Hunter Angler Gardener […]

  2. Dean Eggers

    Hi Hank and Holly!
    Coincidently, I initially happened onto your website when I googled “how to smoke a duck / goose”! (fyi, I purchased a whole “processed” duck at the local grocery chain but have yet to smoke it). Regardless, your website is awesome!! It has opened up the doors to information and trying new foods (e.g I want to try your grilled octopus and smoked salmon deviled eggs)! And now that we have a Whole foods store in our metro, it will be easier to obtain recipe items that our “routine” grocery chains don’t carry. Regarding book content, my personal interest (novice chef) would be:
    – smoked duck / goose;
    – crock pot duck / goose;
    – casseroles (eg. duck / goose, wild rice, mushrooms)
    – sauteed recipes;
    – soups / stews.
    Also, being empty-nesters, any advice / tips on vacuum-sealing & freezing duck / goose related meals that may be unique, specific to duck / goose meat?
    Thank you!
    Best regards,
    Dean, in Iowa.

  3. Jen Erwin

    That’s awesome Hank! Congratulations!

  4. Adam Pavek


    I think there are two general thoughts out there that people have; I want to get gourmet or I want to get the stuff out of my freezer. My suggestions: smoked duck or goose, dry cured goose or duck, pan seared duck, schnitzel, sausage. Go heavy on the technique by covering all the situations and dependencies. (it’s a windy day, 45 degrees and you want to smoke 5 ducks…Here is what you do to make a good product) Having a few hearty goose stew recipies would be useful too. I’m good on how to wrap meat in bacon so you can leave that out for me.

    Good luck and have fun.
    Adam Pavek,

  5. sarah kobeski

    i love the idea of a duck cookbook! as a skilled real/traditional food cook, i would love a recipe book with variety. pretty much anyone can figure out how to make a stew for example, but one can not rely solely on this recipe to utilize a freezer full of fowl (but this in no means that this recipe should be excluded). having said this, i enjoy recipes that utilize simple ingredients to highlight the seasons (my absolute favorite cookbooks are organized by season). the ingredients don’t always have to be generic/readily available, but it is helpful to have a generous selection of recipes that can be made with pantry items or a simple dash to the store. i know that your finished product will be practical and beautiful, can’t wait to see it.

    blessings on your efforts,

    Sarah Kobeski

  6. Mark Thompson

    Duck gumbo please…It’s been our family specialty all my life, and I’d love to see your take on it. Especially interesting would be how/if you’d use duck fat for the roux

    Also, generally the use of duck hearts.

    Can’t wait to see the finished product.

  7. Jessie B

    I found your site while looking up lacto-fermented pickle recipes & then saw you had a mention of my most favoritest meat in the world, duck. I think all the comments are great suggestions, but I’d love to see a mention about selecting duck and maybe a word or two about folks who can’t hunt for their own duck, thinking about the duck ethically. I mean, look for a duck that’s been raised in an ethical environment, one that’s not forcefed or treated as per the norm in industrial farming. The difference is in the cost, you will pay more, but the taste is far superior. Also, folks should NOT ASSUME that if they get their duck from a place like Whole Foods, it’s been raised and processed in an ethical manner. I purchased a goose and a duck at WF maybe 2 years ago–my first foray into the amazing world of roast goose & roast duck. After paying maybe a quarter of what I pay for rent a month, I expected beautiful looking birds. They were not. There were serious bruising– both from the processing after slaughter, and healed injuries that were done while the birds were alive. They both had not been properly plucked and I wound up having to do that myself. Last year, I did more research, found a farm in California, and while I paid more for the ducks in shipping, I got some of the best duck I’ve ever tasted in my life. I also got the knowledge of speaking to the woman who raised and slaughtered those birds. There aren’t many sustainable goose or duck farms in the US, but it’s worth the effort to find them instead of getting a duck from the store, even a store like Whole Foods, that may not have even been raised in the US. Looking forward to reading your book! Thanks

  8. Brianna

    I would really love to see advise/technique on plucking and processing your own birds. I know quite a few people who hunt, but have little knowldge or grace on how to pluck and process properlly to end up with a presentable roasting bird. The result is knarled/damaged meat and broken bones. Information on how to process wild birds correctly is difficult to find, and a necessary skill when hunting/cooking any wild game.
    Thanks in advance

  9. Paul Correa

    First: awesome!
    Second, my druthers:
    Something simple and fool proof for Canadian geese.
    More marinades and sauces for duck.

  10. Cynthia

    For the non-hunter, urban dweller (Oakland), where to get pre-cleaned duck/goose that is ethically sourced. Also, I’m interested in both holiday cooking (roast goose) and every day meals beyond duck confit – like duck ragout, braised duck, stuffed duck breasts, duck liver etc. I’d like to know how to deal with all the fat practically. Yes, it’s great in eggs, but it isn’t healthy to eat every day, and there is so much of it. I assume I have to compost it, but I’m not sure if it can go in the garden instead, or will that just draw skunks and raccoons? Can it go down the drain or is that bad like bacon fat?

    Finally, please don’t skimp on nutritional information either (pros and cons). Goose and duck are less familiar to many home cooks.

    PS, duck/goose/bison are interesting to me neither as “gourmet” nor because I have too many from hunting trips, but because they are a much more sustainable protein than much of what is consumed here. I am mostly veg, but I need to eat more protein.

    Good luck with the book!

  11. Andi Houston


    I would love to see more about saving and using the fat from ducks and geese. Confit, clarifying & rendering duck fat, and how it can be used.

    Also, I have heard that sausage made from duck is beyond fantastic because it has a similar fat: muscle ratio as pork. I would love to see some sausage recipes!

  12. Ann

    Would love to see some recipes for smoking and curing meats, particularly duck and geese and for making loose sausage from duck and/or geese.

  13. Clay Nordlum

    I love the idea of a duck/goose cookbook. I found your site while looking for pickled herring recipes this spring and I was just on your site reading about hanging pheasant, I was wondering if I should do that with my ptarmigan…??? still not sure. But be sure to add that in your book. I hang my caribou at least a week (depending on weather conditions) and normally do my birds also, my wife doesn’t think its a good idea (for birds) so now I’ll have some scientific proof. Thank you!! We do a goose in the ground at our spring bird hunting camp, delish! So please be sure to add some recipes we can use in the field. I’m looking forward to the book.
    Thanks for the good recipes!
    Clay Nordlum
    Kotzebue, Alaska

  14. Seth Gallagher

    I cant wait for the new book i just got back from a week in ND for upland/waterfowl, grabbed my trusty copy of “Hunt, Gather, Cook” & was disappointed to find only 2 duck recipes. while i love the idea of plucking, it just was not feasible on the trip to do it, (less time plucking = more time hunting) so i would like to see recipes that would be good for breasts (various sauces/cooking techniques etc). If i get into some ducks closer to home i’d like to pluck and roast so some info on that would be good. (HGC cover plucking pretty well). The last request would be some discussion of food safety regarding the doneness of fowl, i cant convince my hunting friends that pink is okay, they say no blood in wild game period…

  15. glenn

    One of the things I’m having a hard time finding is offal recipes including beak to tail.asian things like duck tongues and feet,processing intestines for sausages.maybe include some classical dishes as well.pate recipes are sometimes hard to come by,make sure to use plenty of brandy or cognac.

  16. Peter Bregman

    I would love to see a number of simple and fast preparations (ones that could even be done at a campsite) in addition to the more intensive (peking, confit, etc). Another thing to consider (and something I would appreciate a lot) would be the inclusion of some other game birds. Throwing in a few pheasant, quail, snipe, and grouse recipes would make for a very well rounded book on the “darker meat” birds.

  17. Chris


    I want to thank you again for your field trips and am looking forward to more of them. I purchased “Afield” by your friend Jesse Griffiths based on your recommendation and found it to be awesome.

    My inexperienced friends who duck hunt with me in the Bay Area and San Joaquin Delta area tend to keep shooting “spoonies” in their excitement before I could tell them to hold off. For the life of me finding a way to prepare that bird is a tough one.

    Good luck on your new endeaver and I can not wait to read it.

  18. Mike T.


    I like what you said, asking about what techniques to put in the book. That’s good; it’s the difference between giving a man a fish and teaching him to fish.

    Off the top of my head, I’d like to read a book that took a duck from cradle to grave, so to speak, and from bigger to smaller. In outline form:

    I. Introduction: Meet the Duck
    A. Duck Breeds
    B. Domestic vs. Wild
    C. Hunting and processing

    II. The Sum Of Its Parts: Whole Duck
    A. Stuffing and roasting
    B. Whole peking duck (properly. All three days or whatever it takes.)
    C. What else can you do with a whole duck?

    III. Things Fall Apart: Breaking It Down
    A. Butchering a duck (Save the squiggly bits! Neck, head, excess fat, etc)
    B. Duck, Part I: The Breast
    C. Duck, Part II: The Legs
    D. Duck, Part III: The Carcass (stock, baby, stock!)

    IV. Breaking It Down Further
    A. Rendering fat and gribenes
    B. Duck Sausage (or, Use That Neck)
    C. Pate and terrines, oh my! – What to do with all the other bits

    And so on. Mix new recipes with classics (I expect to see canard a l’orange, sliced seared duck breast on a salad, duck leg confit, etc), but use them throughout to illustrate what to do at each point.

    So, from start to finish, you’ve taken a duck, cleaned and dressed it, dealt with it whole, broken it down into parts, dealt with those parts, broken it down further, and dealt with the rest of the parts. By this point, there should be nothing left of the duck except very satisfied diners.

    Hope this helps – can’t wait to read it!

  19. Chris

    Hey Hank,

    I am thinking you will need a few taste testers when you crank out the duck/goose dishes out of your test kitchen. I gladly offer my palate for critiquing purposes. .

  20. Nick


    I think it would be useful to have a detailed description on how to pluck and gut a goose. Most guides do one of two things:

    1) explain how to take the breast
    2) tell you that plucking/cleaning a goose is done the same way as a duck

    I’d like to know how to get the goose to a state where it can be roasted and served the same way you would a turkey or chicken.



  21. SU SU

    Dear Hank,

    It would be great if there could be recipes that cooked the whole duck/goose rather than just parts (breasts, thighs). I think Mike T.’s outline is a great one. Oh, also it would be good to have some recipes on specifically on how to cook/bake with duck eggs.

    Thanks! All the best with the schedule. Awaiting your book eagerly.

    Su Su

  22. glenn

    Oh and i forgot metzer farms out in you neck of the woods has some great resources for waterfowl.

  23. Ken W

    Could you possibly do some Dutch Oven recipes that us fellow hunters can use in camp?

    I would also like to see some ideas for the grill.


  24. Ken W

    As an additional request, can you comment or describe the aging of ducks and geese prior to cooking.

    thanks again
    Ken W.

  25. Kevin Kossowan

    CAN’T WAIT to read it. Congrats, my friend.

  26. Pat H

    any recipes or techniques that allow a crispy skin without overcoking wild ducks would be great. Is there any way to do that with a whole bird?

    Also best ways to smoke a whole duck for presentation and flavor? Always trying to do better there.

  27. Chris

    Hi Hank–
    This may be tangential to the theme but I keep chickens for eggs and have thought about getting ducks. I’m not sure if there is an easy, everyday use for duck eggs though. Some say they can be used in baking, but not with the same ubiquity as chicken eggs. What is your opinion? Perhaps a small section on the five best uses/preparations for duck eggs?
    Denver, CO

  28. eric

    2 of my favorites

    -duck pot stickers: a great way to use all parts of the duck, sauce made with duck stock, soy, garlic chili paste, ginger

    -duck fried rice

  29. Chase

    Two words…Duck Bombs. Cut up a duck breast into 3,4,5,6 pieces, lay out some bacon strips add one piece of duck (or goose), a chunk of cream cheese, a slice CANDIED JALAPEÑO (a regular fresh cut jalapeño will work)…wrap it in the bacon, toothpick it. Grill until the bacon is cooked. While you let them cool for about 5 min, prepare yourself to be amazed.

  30. Karen

    Hey Hank-
    Found your blog while looking up chuckar recipes. Thank God and DOG someone is addressing game in a new way- especially duck! Thank you!!

    Ive cooked duck for years as my husband keeps packing the freezer- Go Matt Go! but with all the duck he hunts he almost always breasts them out… so

    1. Its important to include something about wild fowl w/o skin and the protective searing fat and skin being absent whether with wild or domestics-

    2. Please add accompany-ments and sauces that are non grain based- (think paleo),some of these I hope will be the fantastic taste sensations that happen with food combinations -especially with wine…

    Loved the outline that Mike T provided (Mike T. October 29, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Permalink )as I miss out on all those special bits and hope the info in the book will inspire me to save the rest of the carcass from the trash bin-

    I really look forward to seeing the final product
    Happy writing! and best wishes,


  31. Nate

    Definitely some duck blind recipes; Some easy, take with you breakfast items… If you don’t hunt them, you won’t have any WILD duck.

    I’d like info on how to use more of the duck. I always work so hard for them as a hunter and want to know how to use everything from beak to butt. Dried duck foot dog treats, what can I use feathers for, the tongue, bill, anything and everything.

    Maybe some recipes for those of us that are still out hunting the ducks. Some simple techniques for making ducks and geese really well on a simple grill or cast iron skillet while we’re still at camp and need to feed today’s full strap to 5 hungry guys who just slung decoys a mile and a half.

    Enough for now. Got to check the duck and goose jerky in the dehydrator! Great recipe!

  32. Kelly

    I ran across your site looking for a Dutch Oven duck recipe. We have limited space for cooking as we are just beginning our Farmstead…more like perpetual camping:)
    My plan is to cook a wild goose in my Dutch Oven over an open fire for Christmas dinner. If you still need input, I’ll let you know how it goes.
    Looking forward toyour end product!

  33. Jean

    spices for duck sausage
    chinese style duck sausage
    Is there such a thing as duck tartare?

    Bless your fine efforts. I think/hope this will be a work of joy for you.

  34. George Powell

    I am excited to hear that there will be a cook book for waterfowl of this caliber. An introductory chapter about the history of waterfowling and the market hunting days and the prices being paid for the dish in the metropolitan areas would be really cool. It will also help people respect and appreciate the true value of what they have an opportunity to cook.

    The duck sausage is my favorite and must be included, And other ways to use the hearts livers and gizzards.

    When you are on your book tour come on by Virginia Beach.

    Looking forward to it.

  35. John

    I would love a duck pate’ recipe. I’d make a big batch and give it as Christmas presents.

  36. chascates

    Greetings from Central Texas, I hope you and Jesse Griffiths race each other to come out with a new book each year! I used to work for an Austin charcutier and was pretty amazed to discover I could learn to make duck bacon and pastrami as well as a batch of duck fat. i.e., Liquid Gold. I think most amateur cooks like multi-step photos to reassure them of the what things should look like and give them a visual reference for what’s involved.
    I’m also interested in the techniques and recipes of someone like Kate Hill who does the classics. I read someone say of her “there is no duck alive who doesn’t pray for her demise!”

    Duck. It’s what’s for dinner.

  37. John Strocchio

    1. ¡Pâté! ¡Pâté! ¡Pâté! !PÂ-TÉÉÉÉY! My girl likes to pâté all the time, pâté all the time, pâté all the ti-ime.

    When considering the best parts of tasty, fatty animals such as waterfowl and swine, it always comes back to the fat and the liver. Put ’em together and what do you got? Lovely meat butter that should be included, in small amounts, in everybody’s lunchbox or breakfast toast all winter long forever.

    Duck Liver Moussette at one of my favorite supermarkets…

    Making a quality moussette in the kitchen, with wild or beyond organic ingredients, with my 5 year-old hunting & mushrooming buddy/garden helper/ egg-whisking specialist…
    Priceless.- But I need a killer recipe for it.

    What if the foie is not trés gras pas, but healthy?

    2. Rendering, storing, using waterfowl fats.

    3. Is there a biodynamic use for the feathers or any other bits we don’t eat?

    4. Feet in general. I lived in Taiwan for a bit, but never tried the Night Market chicken feet. Now of course, after learning to appreciate properly-cooked cartilage and tendons, I regret it. Any duck or goose foot recipes out there? Are they good?

    5. Waterfowl and Mushrooms- wild when possible, yummy and clean when not.

    6. Tongue. I’m thinking of a classic Chinese recipe for duck tongue.

  38. jwhite

    I would love to see a recipe on homemade bratwurst. We make a lot of goose brats, and have varied how much pork and different store bought seasoning mixes. This is a great way to utilize a lot of goose meat, and great for having smoked brats for trips/scouting as well as for the grill.
    I would also like to see some recipes with your style for canning and corning.

  39. Mike Lum

    If you’ve not tried it, deep frying is an amazing way to do whole ducks and geese outside of roasting. Someone (maybe you) may have mentioned it already but I didn’t read through all comments carefully. I generally inject a marinade of some sort….white wine, fresh orange juice, fresh shaved ginger, black pepper, garlic, little butter (etc, etc)…simmered, strained, cooled and injected. Leave this overnight. Make up a rub….I like a bit of brown sugar, cinnamon, ground chilies, kosher salt, a bit of fresh ground cumin (love this rub for smoking too). Rub bird inside and out and let sit to room temp. deep fry at 350 until med rare (rare). A mallard sized duck generally takes about 8-10 mins, a goose 15-20. Instant read thermometer is helpful. This is a fantastic way to do whole geese…..tender, juicy, quick cooking and done outside….no need to smoke up the house…just don’t burn down the garage. Lots of possible flavor riffs here.

  40. Clifton Lemon

    Dude- killa concept- a whole book on duck. I ‘ll buy a box of them and hand them out to friends. I’m someone, fortunately, with the problem of what to do w a freezer full of waterfowl. Many great comments above, I’ll add my own at risk of repeating.

    Did not see you nor Holly at Delevan this year. Charlie told me she was buggin cause Delevan was way off this year. Charlie avoided it evidently and spent the season up at Clear Lake. Hope he got his birds. I didn’t hunt there much at all cause it was a crap season. I managed a limit in Grand Central closing Wed, and another limit of mallards early in the season, but that was about it for anything serious. Next season has to be better!

    Things I’m interested in duckwise:

    More charcuterie recipes- your rilletes recipe is a standby, and I love doing something different with the legs, as they are so different from breast meat.

    But I’ like to see more pate recipes, especially liver & other parts. Just beginning to explore this. MOusettes, stuff like that- this is kinda wide open

    More on stocks-

    More on hunting- I’m torn about this, as I don’t want more competition out there from people who don’t know what they’re doing, but we really do need to do a lot of hunter ed if we expect to have any rights in the future as society urbanizes and people forget what guns are really for. More about the history of hunting in NorCal and the relationship between rice farming and duck populations.

    Photos of how to pick, breast, break down, etc. Also pix of the wax method. turns out wax is now hella expensive and messy, but anything that makes my life easy on Sunday night after shooting a buttload of birds ll weekend is going to be pretty interesting. I’ve been getting my birds picked at John Vaca’s in Colusa whenever I can just to save time – worth every red cent that is.

    How about your take on cassoulet? It’s not the hardest thing in the world to figure out, and it’s another good use of duck legs.

    I’d like to see something on the crossover between wild and domestic ducks. I see a few “half breeds” when fishing on the Sac or other rivers now and then, and I always wonder how that works. I was in France a few years ago, in Burgundy, and went into a hardware store for something- I ended up buying jar of pate that had a picture of a mallard on the label- just like the greenheads we shoot. I know pig breeders often let the wild boars jump the fence to keep the pig gene pool healthy- do duck breeders do that?

    Speaking of deep frying, per the last comment, a duck hunting buddy of mine got pretty ecstatic the other day over his chicken fried mallard- that might be worth a look.

    Duck bacon- Hell Yeah!

    How about a duck boudin blanc with wild rice? I’m experimenting with these now- works pretty well with boar. (Actually pheasant boudin blanc would really be superb)

    Duck jerky?

    Well sorry for the randomness- hope this helps. Can’t wait to get the book!

  41. Clifton Lemon

    Whoa- I just a few minutes ago learned a (literally really) bitter lesson.- Started to make some pate with the collected livers of many birds, including a nice fat speck. Then I noticed the little black sacs attached to some of the livers. When I clean my birds, I detach them, but livers are difficult to keep whole, and this is critical. When other people pick my birds for me, they evidently didn’t remove these, and they’re filled with heinous bitter bile! It ruined the whole batch- I had to throw it out. Disaster. So make sure to show how to process livers in the book!!!

  42. Lightly

    I’d love to see some recipes for Muscovy ducks.
    I’ve a little flock here and I cull the males. I saute the breasts rather rare (once with an incredibly delicious cherry sauce, wow…!) but the legs are so tough, I usually simply slow cook them and use the meat in various ways.
    I’ve gifted and sold the meat to folks, who nearly always, over cook the breasts, and undercook the legs. And are frustrated by how it comes out. (Despite my warnings and recommendations… 2 ruined Christmas dinner thus far!)
    I’d love some great recipes to add to my skills, and to recommend to these folks.
    I love your recipes and your website is lovely. One of my most frequent go-to’s for cooking.
    Thank you!


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