Wild ducks are versatile things when it comes to the culinary world. They make great stews, are great cured, can be pan seared on their own, and go great with a number of taste profiles and sauces. In my opinion, there are very few individuals who understand this more than one of my favourite chefs, Hank Shaw. So whenever I am looking to try a new recipe, his website (http://honest-food.net/) is one of the very first places I look. With inspirations from a number of international cuisines and cultures, you are guaranteed to find something interesting on his website. And if my endorsement isn’t enough to get you to try it out, consider this: The guy wrote a friggen book on cooking waterfowl titled “Duck, Duck, Goose”. If that doesn’t give him a serious amount of street cred, I don’t know what will (Duck Duck Goose).
And so I found myself with a couple plump and delicious looking mallard breasts the other day after a hunt (Mid-Season Waterfowl) and a desire to try something interesting with them. After a brief consultation with you guessed it, the duke of duck cooking, Hank Shaw, and his handy dandy website I settled on a classic French dish, Steak au Poivre. Or what I’ve come to call Wild Duck au Poivre. Recipe
I wont take away from Hank’s great, comprehensive instructions, so go check out his website if you want to know how to make this tasty number.
I did make a few adjustments, mostly to accommodate the ingredients I had on hand. Instead of porcini and bitter greens I substituted in some nice German Feldsalat which my inlaws grew late into fall. I added a bit of a dill vinaigrette just to spice it up a bit.
Next I decided to roast some potatoes I had grown this year in m y backyard garden.
The recipe for the potatoes is as follows:
peel and cut potatoes into coarse cubes. Lay in a pan and cover with water, a dash of salt and a dash of chicken stock. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until the water boils. At which point let them simmer for around 5 minutes. Once the potatoes start to soften, remove and Drain. Rough up the potatoes in a strainer, coat with flour and seasonings (chives, salt and pepper), and fry in hot oil until the edges brown. throw back in the oven at bake until crisp.
Everything tastes better when cooked in butter.
Voila, Wild Duck au Poivre!
Cheers from the kitchen,