As waterfowl season draws to a close, successful hunters are likely staring at a freezer full of hefty goose breasts and delicate duck parts. What to do with it all? Will you look to the tried-and-true recipes you've always used or is it time to spread your culinary wings a bit? If you fall into the latter category, have we got a book for you!
Duck, Duck, Goose is Hank Shaw's latest book and it's dedicated to the art of cooking the aforementioned birds and doing it with style, ease and most importantly of all -- delicious results. If you're not familiar with Shaw, allow me to introduce him. He's the author of Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, a blog that just picked up the coveted James Beard Award for the best blog of 2013. By all accounts, it's the go-to site for how to put together an impressive venison lasagna or how to make acorn flour honey cake.
Shaw said the interest in duck in particular is a result of a trend in the restaurant industry.
"About 10 years ago, duck started appearing on menus. You could find duck confit, even on menus in small-town restaurants," he said. "People who eat at those restaurants wanted to try cooking these things at home."
Now, at least in the United States, domestic duck is available in most supermarkets, said Shaw. It's leading people to start experimenting with this 'new' food item.
"The biggest sin is overcooking the breasts," said Shaw. He suggest cooks treat wild birds in a whole new way. "They only look like birds. They are really beef, so treat them that way. Think of the breast as a tenderloin."
The book is divided into chapters that focus on buying, breaking down and storing your birds as well as how to cook whole birds and pieces. For a real challenge, venture into the chapter that talks about giblets, charcuterie, duck fat and eggs. The hardcover book is loaded with gorgeous images created by Shaw's girlfriend, Holly Heyser.
Duck, Duck, Goose will make a perfect gift for the hunter or cook on your holiday list. It's available on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Duck-Goose-Ultimate-Cooking-Waterfowl/dp/1607745291
Follow Shaw's adventures at wwww.honest-food.net.
Give this national dish of Korea a try. It works with any skinless red meat; I made it with goose breast recently. Serve it with rice or layer it into a crusty submarine bun and top with julienne carrots and cilantro.
º cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
4 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
2 tablespoons peeled and chopped fresh ginger
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
2 pounds skinless duck breasts
kimchi and cooked white rice, for serving
black sesame seeds, for garnish, optional
In a blender, combine the vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, onions, ginger, garlic and sugar and puree until smooth. Put the duck breasts in a container just large enough to accommodate them, pour in the marinade and turn to coat evenly. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour and up to 24 hours.
Fire up your grill, getting it as hot as you can. Remove the duck breasts from the marinade, pat dry and set aside. Pour the marinade into a small saucepan, bring to a boil over medium high heat and boil for five minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm.
Coat the duck breasts with a little oil. Place on hot grill for three to five minutes, depending on the size of the breast. Flip to the other side and continue grilling for an additional three to five minutes.
Transfer the duck breast to a cutting board, tent loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for five minutes. Slice the breast thinly and arrange on dinner plates along with the kimchi and rice. Drizzle hot marinade over the duck, then sprinkle the sesame seeds over everything. Serve with a cold lager or pilsner.
Shel Zolkewich writes about the outdoors, travel and food when she's not playing outside, traveling or eating. You can reach her with your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org