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Duck Sausages Hunter’s Style


When life gives you lots of ducks or geese (this happens a lot with snow goose hunters), you should make some sausages out of them. Use the shot-up birds you won’t feel bad about cutting up; save the perfect birds for roasting or other uses.

This sausage is “hunter’s style,” which to me means coarse-grained and flavored with traditional European game spices, such as caraway, juniper and sage. This duck sausage has all three, with sage as its main herb.

Duck Sausages, Hunter’s Style

These sausages would be perfect with a cassoulet, with beans, or simply pan-roasted or grilled. The possibilities are unlimited. Note that the only ingredient measured in grams is the salt — it is that important to get the saltiness right. I did include a rougher measurement to get you close, if you don’t have a scale. 

Makes about 4 pounds, or 16 sausages.

Prep Time: 90 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

  • 3 pounds duck meat or goose meat 
  • 1 pound pork fat 
  • 1/2 cup red wine, chilled 
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage 
  • 2 teaspoons ground juniper berries 
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seed 
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper 
  • 34 grams, or 2 level tablespoonskosher salt 
  • hog casings

  1. Chop the meat and fat into about 1-inch chunks, then mix all the spices together and toss with the meat and fat. Chill the meat and fat until it is almost frozen by putting it in the freezer for an hour or so.
  2. Take out some hog casings and set in a bowl of very warm water.
  3. Grind the meat and fat through your meat grinder (you can use a food processor in a pinch, but you will not get a fine texture) using the coarse die. If your room is warm, set the bowl for the ground meat into another bowl of ice to keep it cold.
  4. Add the wine and mix thoroughly either using a Kitchenaid on low for 60-90 seconds or with your (very clean) hands. This is important to get the sausage to bind properly.
  5. Stuff the sausage into the casings all at once. Twist off links by pinching the sausage down and twisting it, first in one direction, and then with the next link, the other direction. Or you could tie them off with butcher’s string.
  6. Hang the sausages in a cool place for 1 hour if it is warm out, up to overnight if you have a place that will get no warmer that 45 degrees. The longer you can hang the sausages, the better they will taste. After they have dried a bit, put in the fridge until needed. They will keep for at least a week. If you are freezing the sausages, wait a day before doing so. This will tighten up the sausages and help them keep their shape in the deep-freeze.

More Duck and Goose Recipes

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44 responses to “Duck Sausages Hunter’s Style”

  1. Ralph Nestor

    Why not write recipe with measures that one can easliy do I.E. Tbsb, tsp, Lb. etc.

  2. Stephanie Rose

    Hello Hank,
    Do we have to let the sausages rest? I am teaching a class to children and there isn’t enough time.

  3. Stephanie Rose

    Thank you very much for your reply.
    I also agree with you on measuring by weight.. It is way more exact!
    I can’t wait to see these kids try to stuff sausage casings!

  4. Ed Fields

    Is there an alternate for pork, as some members of my family have an intolerance to it?

  5. Sean

    Does it matter if you use the duck breast or legs

  6. Ryan Stepp

    what do you do if you wanna add a cheese to it? I’m new at this but wanting to get into it so I’m not wasting excess ducks and geese. Thanks

  7. cody manley

    can you smoke these and then freeze for eating later on.

  8. Bill


    How long do you recommend smoking them?

  9. Tina

    My husband hunts and processes all the meat himself. So far this is my favorite sausage by a long shot!! I hardly ever leave comments online, so take this as a big compliment!

  10. rob

    hank, my friend can’t eat pork and would like to have him try wild meat which he has never tried before and i would like him to try duck could i use a beef fat as from sirloin,primerib? would i have to render it down? looking for ideas

  11. Tim Boatwright

    I have a second fridge, if i bump the temp up in that to the high 30’s – low 40’s can I dry the sausage in there or is it better to hang them before they go into the fridge? This is my first attempt at sausage, can’t wait to try this recipe!

  12. Jennie Alice Lillard

    Hello Hank,

    Tried this recipe at a friend’s house and we both were a bit hesitant because the ducks smelled so darned fishy as I was processing them. (spoonie, 3 pintail, gadwall, and merganzer). I wasn’t sure if she was even going to try the finished sausage, to be honest. We followed the recipe and they turned out wonderful. Even her little 5 year old girl was scarfing it down.

    I can’t wait to try the L’Orange recipe.
    Thanks so much,
    Jennie Alice

  13. ed

    Made this with coot (breasts and legs) and non-coot eaters haven’t noticed. It is delicious. Best in tomato sauce over your favorite pasta.

  14. Pete

    Great Recipe Hank, Thanks…

    ed, you shouldn’t feed coot (or any other meat) to people under the guise of another meat. Thats just horrible kitchen/chef etiquette and the minute any of your friends find out you do this will likely be the last they trust you as a cook.

  15. Brent

    Will this work making patty sausage? I do not have a stuffer yet, and i still want to make a tasty breakfast sausage or Italian sausage. will this recipe still work?

  16. Joyce C

    I was looking for a better seasoning mix while roasting a duck crown when I came across your sausage recipe. I used your spice combo under the skin and it was great. My 7 year old asked for seconds. Looking forward to making it as sausage next.

  17. Bruce Wellspring

    Rob, in regards to your question about what fat to use, try using the skin and fat from chicken thighs, it has a mild flavor and also keeps the moisture content up. I use it in all my game bird sausages with great results

  18. Travis Harrison

    I get a few sausage orders from friends during hunting season most every year. I used your recipe earlier this year, and something strange happened, I was handed EVERY SINGLE duck from five very successful hunts, and asked to “grind ‘em stuff ‘em and smoke ‘em”. I bow, Sir, to your culinary skills! Please post more!

  19. Kay

    Could you juice instead of wine?

  20. John

    How would you cook these and what would you serve them with?

  21. DeWayne

    Hi Hank, Thank you. Tried this with ducks last year and one batch turned out great and one didn’t (mush). I learned the hard way that the meet needs to be kept very cold (half frozen). Anyway, I am trying this next weekend with Canada goose. I don’t want to make links this time but just keep it in hamburger form and wrap up in butcher paper. Any advice?

  22. Jesse

    Can you grind the duck skin into the sausage? I have seen commercially produced duck sausage with duck skin in the ingredient list.

  23. John White

    Thanks Hank. Your recipes are alive and well here in Chicago. The “Polar Vortex” of this winter has played out well for me hunting wise. It is really cold, and the hunting has been plentiful. Peace

  24. David

    I made these today with regular ground pork, wild goose and wild duck instead of just the duck and pork fat called for, substituted 4 tsp of dried sage from the garden as I forgot to pick up fresh. Used half the called for salt, an extra tablespoon of black pepper, and 1/2 a teaspoon of cayenne. They came out amazing! A big tip when dealing with wild duck and goose here in Canada at least. I soaked the cut meat in cold water in the fridge, and rinsed and refilled several times. Then rinsed with cold water, gently worked the meat, and rinsed again several times until the meat wasn’t leaching lots of blood. Helps prevent an unpleasant gamey taste.

  25. Marta

    Can I use lard for the pork fat? If so, same amount?

  26. Evan

    Tried this recipe last night with a bunch of bluebills and spoonies. AMAZING :)

    Thanks Hank!!!

  27. Henry

    When you say 1 lb of fat, do you mean just fat from a piece of pork. I ask as I have seen recipes call for 10 lbs of goose and then 10lbs of pork shoulder. Is this something you ask a butcher for? And one other question, could I use 3 lbs of goose and 3 lbs of pork shoulder with this recipe?

  28. Erin Luttrell

    Hank, thanks so much for the recipe. First time making sausage in any form was last night, and while I was intimidated, your recipe was perfect with a few ingredients, and simple instructions. I’ll definitely be making these again. I had beef fat on hand and am also sensitive to pork (still used the casing), so I substituted some, using as much duck fat as I could in the recipe as well. It worked out great! I also had to substitute gin (oh, darn) for the juniper berries. The “test” stuffing made an excellent patty fried in coconut oil and 1/2 served with sweet zucchini relish, and 1/2 with whole grain mustard. Can’t wait to make more … Can’t wait to share!

  29. Mark Bodnar

    Upon requesting pork fat and pork shoulder, I was delivered pork butt. I figured I’d make the best of it and made the hunters and polish duck sausages with a fairly lean cut of pork. I didn’t case them because of the lack of fat. They still turned out very good

  30. Greg

    Some friends and I made these with commercially purchased duck. One of the best things I’ve ever eaten, and probably the best thing I’ve ever cooked. The five spice was really well balanced. We also hot-smoked 2 links to see what they’d be like – just superb. This is a cracker of a recipe. Thanks!

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