I'll spare you the over-told cedar plank joke and get to it … there's a good number of outdoorsmen who like to hunt, but not eat, wild ducks. If those ducks happen to be fish-eating divers, that number only multiplies.
Last week I had the opportunity to hunt Bay Flats Lodge in Seadrift, Texas and found a simple solution to this predicament: duck soup. We polished off half a dozen redheads this way and it was one of the best duck dishes I've ever had.
I asked the cook at the lodge if the recipe was a secret …
"It's no secret," she said pointing to the pot of soup. "Everything you see there is what's in it."
You've got to love Texans. Here's the slightly more detailed recipe.
Ingredients for Soup
2 bowls cubed duck breast
1 bowl cubed salt pork
6 sliced carrots
3 stalks sliced celery
Uncooked long-grain wild rice
Zatarian's gumbo mix
Ingredients for Stock
5 pounds of duck parts (neck, carcass, back)
2 large onions, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 pounds celery stalks with leaves, coarsely chopped
1 bunch parsley, with stems chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp salt
Instructions for Soup
Heat extra-virgin olive oil on medium-high. Add cubed duck and salt pork and braise until meat turns brown. Drain oil and move the meat to crockpot. Add duck stock to cover completely. Start adding all vegetables and potatoes. Season to taste. Add uncooked wild rice to crockpot. Turn on high for 4 hours.
Instructions for Stock
Wash duck parts well and place in a large stockpot. Add cold water to cover by two inches and bring to boil. Skim all froth from the surface. Lower heat and add other ingredients. Simmer uncovered for 3 hours. Add water as needed to cover ingredients and skim as necessary. Strain the stock into a large bowl through a colander lined with double layer of dampened cheesecloth. Press solids to extract all liquid.