Wild Duck: The Other Red Meat


Best way to deal with freezing weather is complete gluttony with good friends. Or at least that’s my working theory, and it worked great this week. In this case, it was a massive duck feed at Smarty’s house. And when I say “massive,” I’m referring only to the amount of ducks we ate, not the size of the gathering. Above, just a few of the dozen or so birds we consumed, ready for the oven.


While we were waiting for the oven to heat up, we ate six ducks’ worth of barbecued-rare, thinly sliced breasts dipped in hot mustard and sesame seeds. Awesome appetizer. The main course went into a very hot oven for a short time, unstuffed, of course, and was served blood rare with crisped skin and a very Russell Chatham-esque sauce that included current jelly, worcestershire and wine. If you’ve ever read Chatham’s “The Great Duck Misunderstanding” (perhaps my favorite piece of  outdoor writing ever) you’ll have a pretty good idea of the meal and its preparation. That’s Smarty starting the carving process.


But since Smarty is a vegetables are what food eats kind of guy, when he said “duck dinner,” he meant it literally.We had duck and more duck. With a little duck. And for dessert, duck. Those are a few carcasses shortly before I dove in to gnaw all the drumsticks down to the bone. I could barely walk back to my car, but I went to sleep dreaming of more ducks. Sometime during the night, a front rolled in and broke our arctic chill. I woke to 50 degrees and light rain. See…duck dinner, perfect cure for freezing weather. Thanks, Smarty.


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