Sunday, 6 January 2013

Plucking Ducks

A friend I work with is very keen on his shooting and he came in on Friday with three ducks for me. He knows I like my game and I like it even more if its free!
The trouble with free "gifts" of meat is that they always involve a bit of work, so this afternoon I filled a feed bag full of straw (the warmest makeshift seat there is) pulled up a large tub and started plucking.
Three ducks for a decadent Sunday roast

I can't say preparing meat (birds especially) from scratch is a job I particularly enjoy, but I love eating them and hate to see anything go to waste (which can be the case on large organised shoots where due to the labour involved they throw most away). Having an area outside to do it makes it easier as it can be quite messy. One day I plan to make myself an area where I can do things like this in some comfort!
A comfy area to do some plucking!
I've never prepared ducks before and man do they have some feathers and soft feathers at that! I didn't bother with the wings much (just chopped them off with the axe in the background) but there was plenty of meat on the rest of them. Plucking is quite easy once you get into the hang of it, pluck with your thumb and index finger, grab small amounts and in a short, sharp motion pull away from the way they naturally lie.
Once I'd plucked them I singed the downy feathers that were left with a flame, then removed the head and legs before gutting them.
I'm not in any way as fat as this picture makes me look!
Inside the house I rinsed them out and washed off the singed feathers before adding some salt, pepper and olive oil and putting them in the oven.
Three cooked ducks


 
The meat tasted amazing, full of flavour and tender, much better than an intensively reared animal. Three ducks was far too many for the two of us (I won't let my daughter eat it just yet as there's the chance there could be shot in it) as there was loads of meat on each bird but I'm planning on doing another meal in the week with the leftovers.
This was my first taste of wild duck and it won't be my last!
Anyone else tried anything for the first time lately?
And any ideas on what to do with leftover duck? I'm thinking over indulgent sandwiches first!

14 comments:

  1. How many ducks can a duck plucker pluck, try a stir fry with your leftovers .Enjoy :)

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    1. I know a pheasnt plucker!
      We're thinking wraps now!

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  2. Plum Duck and noodles? Duck a l'orange? use the bones to make lovely stock - but make sure there is no shot in them.

    Happy New Year, btw :-)

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    1. Made some stock so risoto tomorrow night!

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  3. Wow Kev, what a nice treat.... I'd love to try some wild duck like that. We can get the farm raised variety here but they run about 27$ per bird as they are imported. Not something we indulge in to often.I don't know what the protocol is for plucking ducks but I have read that folks scald foul for a few seconds before they pluck and it makes the job much easier.

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    1. They are some exoensive birds in your neck of the woods!
      I've read about scading them, and dipping them in wax but neither were something I had the time or inclanation to do just hours before my sunday roast! Maybe if I get any more I'll just skin them, but the flavour is in the skin thats the trouble!

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  4. We hope to have an area where such tasks can be done as well, Kev. At the moment Lester has to pluck sitting on our garden bench, but chickens as we haven't got as far as rearing ducks yet. Do have geese though and I suspect that they will be a nightmare to pluck!
    Nice to see a photo of you at 'work', and glad you enjoyed the duck.

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    1. I thnk geese will be a fairly big task. What are they like to keep I keep on to my wife that I want some for christmas next year but she's afraid! The photo of me was from a tripod which I do plan oon using more ove the next year for the blog.

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  5. Alan's idea of a nice job to do, my idea of hell!!

    Sue xx

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    1. I don't mind it but I'll always put it off until the last minute (as the four rather large cockeral walking round the place will bear witness to!)

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  6. Ooh, I say duck sandwiches with plum sauce! What a feast!
    -Jaime

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    1. I live a good life really! Thanks for your comment

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  7. Dear Kev, I saw you pop up as a follower on my blog and as followers for my blog are as rare as hen's teeth, I had to follow your link back to your blog. Man, I am glad I did!

    I have just had a really busy day. Marcia, the girlfriend was in town so I was in charge of the two boys, Alex and Dom, but I still had to get all the jobs done. No town power here and with us running on the reserve generator as the main had stuffed up, I had to fix the main. Then it was off to get water from the new well I dug. The pump stuffed up so I had to strip, clean and rebuild it. Got 2000 litres of water into the tank on the back and made my way home (remind me to fix the power steering pump on the truck). Then my mate down the road rings me and says his truck has stuffed up so could I come over and tow his truck to the nearest workshops (about an hour away). With my truck rolling like a barge and the king pins graunching, I needed to reduce weight so I gave the water away to the neighbours so as not to waste it. We hauled his truck and I have just returned home knowing that tomorrow morning I have to pump the tank full again and get the 200 litres of diesel I did not have time to buy.

    I checked my blog, saw your link, followed it to your blog and saw these three beautifully roasted ducks. The boys were looking over my shoulders (I have two so they had a shoulder each). All of us started to slaver like Nile crocodiles (leaving me with wet shoulders and a damp chest). Marcia came in and asked us what we wanted for dinner (bear in mind we hadn't eaten at all day), 'DUCK!' we all shouted. 'Can't do Duck', she said, 'but we can do some nice roast chicken'

    So roast chicken it will be and the smell wafting in from the kitchen is sublime.

    Thanks for dropping by mate!

    By the way, we had wild duck for Christmas dinner. Miles better than turkey. Besides tasting much better, I can eat more than one without feeling guilty.

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    1. What a great comment! I had to laugh as I read it, mind you we've no shortage of water over here - maybe you could have some of ours, the fields are stood in it!
      Hope your roast chicken was nearly as good as my duck! Not sure I could eat more than one though (mind you I might give it a good go!)
      Thanks for stopping by

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