Sunday, August 26, 2012

"From the fire in to the pan" Wild duck

"From the fire in to the pan"

Hello there Mike here again time for a brief plug before this post starts.  First off animals were harmed for the making of this post, but there usually is.  Second if you are offended by the death of the animals go to ducks unlimited, this is a conservation group that buys and rehabilitates wetlands and nesting grounds for waterfowl.  Third if you were not offended by the death of the animals then please go to ducks unlimited.  This is a great conservation group that does so much for waterfowl from habitat to migration from beginning to end and in between.  So please donate or even join the organization and do what you can to help such a beautiful animals.

Now that everyone is asleep or run off time for the food post.  Well I was digging in my freezer yesterday trying to figure out what to cook when I came across a package of wild duck breasts.  The ducks came from a wonderful father son bonding hunting trip.  My father lives on the other side of the state so it is always nice to spend time with him in the marsh.  Then to make it even better it was just us for the hunting party.  We made our daily limit of ducks each with just our knowledge and experience.  Well and a lot of good luck on our side.  After the breasts thawed we put them in the Jack Daniels Steakhouse marinade bag and marinade for a day.  Sarah and I decided to pair the duck breasts with a salad and Quinoa.

Since the quinoa is a plain no flavor grain Sarah sauteed red peppers, onions and garlic in a brand new cast iron pan that I bought.  Of course I played with my knives and cut everything up for Sarah.  She knows that I    will always find a way to cut the vegetables before she will.

Now that the vegetables are finished Sarah started cooking the quinoa.  She brought a can of beef stock and quinoa to a boil.  She added the vegetables and began the waiting game that comes with cooking any grain.  Steam means it is hot right?  I had to warn Sarah that steam is hot.

Now for the main part of ingredient of the meal, the beautiful wild duck that died in a game of wits.  Now to honor the great foe with treating him right and enjoying them thoroughly.  We marinaded the breasts like we said before in an attempt to help remove some of the gamier taste of the meat.  I seasoned the meat with Montreal steak seasoning.  I thought I had the new cast iron pan hot enough to sear the sides of the meat.  I was wrong but it was the first cooking attempt with the pan.

Well once I got the breasts seared on one side it took longer than I wanted so the other side did not get the sear I wanted before it was at a medium rare temperature.  Sarah finished up with the quinoa while I let the duck breasts rest on the cutting board.  You have to let the meat rest.  "If you don't eat your meat you can't have any pudding. How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat."  Sorry for that little blurb from Pink Floyd.  I sliced the breasts against the grain.  After slicing the meat I found out that the duck was closer to medium instead of medium rare.  Well since I did have problems with the searing the breasts so I cooked them longer than I wanted.

Well how are my plating skills folks?  I know they are pretty bad with this dish.  The duck was gamier that I wanted but was very good.  Sarah ate all of her meat.  I started with the duck that was standing alone, big mistake.  Well not a big mistake but I missed out on the great combination of the quinoa and the duck.  The duck meat when combined with the quinoa was a great blend of flavors and balanced the plain flavor of the grain and the gaminess of the duck.  We did not take any pictures of the salad because it was very sad looking.  It was a day old and well looking pathetic.  So instead insert your own mental image of your favorite salad, either homemade or restaurant.

I try to have a tip or useless fact in my post.  This post that has eluded me so I will ask you, the reader, a question.  Why is wild duck breast, dark meat instead of being white meat like a farm raised chicken?

We welcome you to comment about the post, tips, critiques, what ever works for us.  Feel free to share with your friends also.