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Diver ducks have a reputation as smelly, fishy tasting birds. Sometimes that’s true. But as I found out last week, even a clam-eating, saltwater duck can be magnificent at the table. Believe me, I am as shocked to write this as you are to hear it.
I’ve seen a lot of hunters “breast out” a lot of birds this hunting season, leaving the legs and wings for the coyotes – or even just tossing them in the trash. It pains me to see this. It’s my hope, in my own small way, to convince those hunters who do that to change their minds.
Whether you call them spooines, spoontang or northern shovellers, these ducks are common in California – and a hunter who ignores them does so at his peril. Until Wednesday, that would be me.
A duck hunting trip on the San Francisco Bay was radically different from the sort of duck hunting we normally do. But it was a thrilling experience matched by the challenge of cooking sea ducks.
Posted in Charcuterie, Ducks and Geese, Hunting & Fishing Stories, Wild Game | Tagged Charcuterie, duck hunting, ducks, easy recipes, historic recipes, Hunting and Fishing Stories, wild food, Wild Game | 19 Responses
Canada geese get a bad rap. Sky carp. Stinky, arrogant hissing birds. Yeah, Canadas can be nasty. But cooking a real, wild, Canada goose offers pleasures other waterfowl simply lack.
A year ago I said I’d not return to Canada to hunt ducks and geese. I changed my mind, only this time we drove — all 4,500 miles. It was an epic road trip, worth every mile.
Mortadella is one of my favorite sandwich meats. It is what our baloney wishes it could be. It is an emulsified sausage, like a hot dog, but much tastier. Traditional versions are made from pork and often have pistachios in them. Some are stuffed in a casing, some are not. This is my take on […]
While most wild ducks enjoy a good reputation, geese are undeservedly maligned as greasy, livery and tough. Yes, they can be all these things, but properly done, a wild goose (or a domestic, for that matter) is essentially a large duck. A normal wild goose, such as a Canada, Snow or Whitefront will feed four, while […]