Friday, November 30, 2012

From Hunt to Lunch

Most men would bring home the bacon, I however, brought home the mallard. 

 I tagged along on the Lampe family's Thanksgiving duck hunt.
 Here's a shot of William and Rob after a morning in the rice fields.
And Granddaddy on his way back from the river blinds.  The weather was perfect. Cloudless and in the 50's for our whole stay. 

The ducks were plentiful too.  Below Rob and William are cleaning the morning kill.

 The group shot a variety of different species, both diving river ducks and wading puddle ducks.
 Since they are wild ducks they are very lean. The amount of meat from any one duck is relatively small. The best meat is the breast and can be easily removed with a few incisions along the rib cage. Even so I still struggled to butcher them well. You can see my imperfect job.

This still yielded several very nice breasts which we brined in salt water to draw out excess blood.
 We then wrapped them in cling wrap and sous-vide them in 130 degree water for 4 minutes, then rested them for 4 minutes.
 Then we seared them for one minute a side until browned. This left them still very red, tender, and bloody.

They were very tasty, and quite unlike any farm raised duck.
We lost track of which breast came from which species of duck, but you can see they were all slightly different.  Size, species, and diet all create different qualities to the meat.

A delicious rustic meal worth all the effort.

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