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Wild Mallard breast, HELP?

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    Wild Mallard breast, HELP?

    A young man at work loves duck hunting and gives them away so he brought me in a couple breasts and I'm looking for a killer way to grill theses dudes up. I've never done them before but have had them at a wild game dinner every year and they were done with an orange marmalade or something and they were awesome. Plan to use the SnS and I'm assuming med rare, just not sure what to marinade them in if that's the way to go or just brine and these are skinless also. Any Suggestions would be appreciated as i would like to grill these tomorrow.
    Thanks , Dean
    Henrik,Jon Solberg ,@Ernest,@Jerod Broussard,@Spinaker
    Last edited by Powersmoke_80; October 14, 2015, 04:36 PM.

    Haven't tried it personally but it looks reasonable.

    Try making some prosciutto with one or two of the breasts!


      You're in luck, Powersmoke_80! Great to have a steady supply of duck. The flavor is just great. If you can get them with the skin on, do that next time. Not a deal breaker, but I like to cook 'em with the fatty skin on one side. The skin can be removed either right before serving, or by your guests when on the plate.

      ​Either way, some comments on the link Burntend posted:

      temp recommendation is good. 135 °F / 57° C is just right. Ducks are sensitive to too high temps, meaning they will very quickly become "chewy" if taken too high. Make sure you monitor temp real closely, as it is very easy, and goes very fast, to ruin duck breasts. They are thin, after all. Do not get them over 140° F / 60° C.

      I would avoid both the olive oil and the Italian seasoning. The oil because I (personally) don't think olive oil is the best match for duck, and I'm wary of the oil getting burnt while cooking, which will produce an unpleasant taste. The seasoning because duck meat has great flavor in itself, why mess it up with Italian (or any other) seasoning? This is a meat that just needs salt and pepper if you ask me.

      As for the orange marmalade: spot on. Nothing complements duck better than a citrus concoction. Be that orange glaze, orange marmalade or something else. Here's my recipe for an orange glaze.

      How to grill
      I would cook these indirect for a while (shouldn't take more than 45 minutes, but of course depends on how many you cook), to add some smoke flavor, then reverse sear using high direct heat. Just like you would cook a tri-tip or a sirloin, really. Again, monitor temp closely.

      Slice the duck breasts just like you do with a flank steak, diagonally in 3/4 in wide slices. Make sure they are a bit red in the middle.

      If you have the time to make a potato gratin, that is really good. Otherwise make a rich potato mash (with both butter and double cream in it).

      Good luck, and let us know how it went!


      • Powersmoke_80
        Powersmoke_80 commented
        Editing a comment
        Henrik, That's why I called you out, I figured you were the Wild Man,on game that is. That sounds perfect and I will let you know how it turns out. I agree with skin on as that is how they were served at the game dinner. Thanks Dude

      Henrik Nailed it!


        I'm planning on throwing a dinner party that features whole roasted wild mallard ducks.I'm planning on using a 22" and 26" Webers and I think there is enough real estate to cook 10 birds. Using indirect with a SnS at high temps like about 350*F. I'm shooting for medium rare. Anyone have experience roasting whole ducks this way?


        Yes, go ahead and get your mallards on those grills! They are leaner than duck in my experience, but not much. Monitor those temps closely. Rather than cooking them to the perfect temp, I’d take them off the grill 2-3 degrees below target temp and let them rest 10 minutes before serving. Just like with duck they overcook easy, which kind of ruins the whole experience.


          Oh, and serve them with a rich creamy sauce, they need it.


            Thank you for the input! Reading some of my game cook books, I'm now thinking to roast the birds whole and then cut in half with shears rather than serving a whole duck to each person. I'm thinking Cumberland Sauce for those who want it. Sides will be wild rice with sautéed mushrooms and onions with a little vermouth. Mrs. Jack is going to cook a zucchini dish. Mega red wines and some kind of tart dessert to finish. I'll monitor the IT closely. Henrik, if you're interested, come out to San Francisco, dinner is on the 24th! Ditto Spinaker. Member Brookie will be in attendance. I'll post photos.


              Cool, your plan is rock solid. Love the sides and especially the cumberland sauce. Keep us posted, pics mandatory ;-)


                Henrik, we didn't hear about you coming for dinner last night, so we went ahead without you. Here are a few photos of the preparation, cooking and plating.

                Here are 10 mallards almost ready for the grill. The cavities were generously seasoned with salt and pepper and stuffed with a few slices of green apples. Grills were Webers with SnS inserts and fueled with a full chimney of KBB and just a hint of apple wood smoke. Just prior to roasting, the birds were rubbed with a little bit of canola oil and then moderately seasoned with Lawry's Seasoned Salt. Mrs Jack came up with the place setting name tags - pretty cool!...
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                This not well staged photo are the birds after roasting. We shot for an IT of 140*F so as not to be too rare for the newbie wild duck eaters at the table. Thanks to the able assistance of Brookie, the IT's were nailed. The piece of meat in the lower left corner is a chicken breast for Mrs. Brookie who refuses to eat wild ducks. The chicken was marinated in Italian salad dressing before grilling - she liked it!...
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                Here's the plated results. Sides were wild rice into which was mixed some sautéed onions and mushrooms finished with vermouth wine. Mrs. Jack prepared a nice dish of au gratin zucchini. A dipping Cumberland sauce was provided. I think the dinner went very well as witnessed by the newbies picking up the birds and getting the last shreds of meat off the carcasses. Oh, and there was plenty of great red wines being passed around the table...
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                Dessert (not pictured) was a store-bought tiramisu cake that put the whole operation over the top!


                  What a feast!


                    Looks Fantastic and cool name tags.


                      Another idea I recently saw on TV is duck breast pastrami. Curing should make it plenty moist. No recipe, but I suspect you guys could figure it out.


                        Those look awesome!!! Great job.


                          Looks great!



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