This teal recipe is designed for small ducks, but quail or small partridges would work, too -- you just need to get the bird stuffed into the jar. Another option would be to stick chunks of something large into the jar. Springing to mind would be tuna or some other large, firm fish, a turkey thigh, deboned shank or neck meat from a deer, pork shoulder, a few pheasant legs, a goose leg or several goose thighs -- play with it and let me know what you come up with. You'll need to extend the cooking time for really tough cuts of meat, though.
Course: Main Course
Keyword: duck, teal
Author: Hank Shaw
4ouncesof tepary beans,or some other bean
4teal,plucked and gutted
Salt and black pepper
1tablespoonduck fat,lard or cooking oil
1large onion,sliced root to tip
1head of garlic,peeled
1/2cupdried cholla buds or dried nopales or dried mushrooms
1 1/2cupssalsa verde,homemade or store-bought
Chopped cilantro,lime wedges and dry Mexican cheese for garnish
Pour boiling water over the tepary beans and let them soak for 4 hours. Meanwhile, use shears to cut out the backbones of the teal and then use a paring knife to remove the ribs and saber bones (the "shoulder blade") of the ducks. You don't need to do this, but it makes the teal easier to eat when you are ready. Once you have the bones trimmed, set the teal back in the fridge while the beans soak.
When the beans are hydrated, put them in a pot and cover with water by about 2 inches. Add the dried cholla buds if using. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for 20 minutes. While this is happening, preheat the oven to 300°F. Get a roasting pan ready. Put the duck fat in a pan set over medium-high heat and when it's hot, add the sliced onions and saute until they are slightly blackened on their edges. Add the garlic and cook another minute or three. Turn off the heat.
Drain the beans. Put a few in each Mason jar. Add some onions, then set the teal in the jar. Add garlic cloves, more beans and cholla and salsa verde until they just about cover the teal. Add water (about 1/2 cup) to come up to 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the lip of the jar. Put the lids on the jar loosely and set in the roasting pan. When you have all the jars ready, fill the roasting pan with very hot water about halfway up the sides of the jars. Set in the oven and cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
Serve solo, or over rice. You'll want some chopped cilantro, lime wedges and dry Mexican cheese like cotija to garnish.
I like this served over rice, but you could also do it over smashed roasted potatoes, or solo with lots of good bread.