Duck, Duck, Goose

Serious flavor makes wild game more than just child’s play.

EUGENIA UHL PHOTOGRAPH

It’s March, and like many freezers across South Louisiana this time of year, mine is packed with everything from duck to quail to venison — all gastronomic trophies from my husband’s weekend scavenges. Although hunting season has drawn to a close, it’s not quite time for spring cleaning. But as I see it, it’s as good a time as any to empty out the freezer and create something scrumptious such as Honeyed Citrus Duck with Butter and Herbs. Not much is needed to season this flavorful fowl for a taste that’s a refreshing, balanced blend of sweet and savory.

Honeyed Citrus Duck (or Goose) with Butter and Herbs

4 ducklings or 1 large goose
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup honey
1 stick butter
1/2 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 orange, sliced

Mix together the basil, ginger and salt. In a saucepan, mix the honey, butter, orange and lemon juices and dry mustard; boil for 3 minutes. Put about 1/2 teaspoon of the basil mixture inside of each duck, and rub any left over on the outside. (For the goose, put about three-fourths of the mixture inside, and rub the outside with the remaining one-fourth.) Stuff ducks or goose with orange slices. Pour half of the honey mixture over the ducks or goose in the roasting pan. Cover, and roast at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees, turn the ducks or goose breast down, and roast, basting occasionally with the rest of the honey mixture, until ducks or goose are very tender, about 2 1/2 hours or until a thermometer inserted into the deepest part of the meat reaches 165 degrees. Turn breast side up for the last 30 minutes to brown. Serves 8.

Recipe by Diana Rattray

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