These are wicked-good as a meal or as appetizers. If you duck hunt, then you probably love ducks cooked about any old way. However, non-hunters often don’t care for the rather strong flavor of duck. I have rarely met anyone that didn’t like these duck wraps – except committed vegetarians and people opposed to eating bacon. The basic ideas is to take a chunk of duck, add a dab of cream cheese, stuff that inside half a mild cherry pepper, wrap this in ½ of a slice of bacon, stick it on a skewer, marinate for 5 minutes (you are running late) to 5 hours, and grill. Then stand back and watch them be devoured. Yeah, they’re that good!
Bacon – not thick sliced
Cherry Peppers – “mild or sweet” on label
Marinate – Claude’s Fajita marinate is the best
Wraps are a bit tedious to put together. To be efficient, prepare the four basic components – duck, cream cheese, pepper, & bacon – and put them in separate piles. That makes the wrapping process go much quicker. Of course it is best to recruit a friend to help and have some fermented barley or grapes drink to enhance the banter.
Step 1: Get the meat ready. Makes sure you clean the breasts by removing blood clots and shot. It is very bad form to crack a friend or dinner guest’s tooth on a steel 2. Cut the breast meat into cubes. I like about ¾ of and inch sized cubes. Larger pieces of meat for a crowd that loves duck; smaller for people that have never eaten duck.
Step 2: Gut the peppers – remove the seeds. Sweet cherry peppers average about 1 inch in diameter. Remove the stem, split average or large ones into 2 pieces (that makes two wraps), but leave small peppers as one piece.
Step 3: Make a bunch of cream cheese bits. Take the 8 oz. block of cheese and cut or pull off a hunk and then shape it into a roll that is just under a ½ inch in diameter. Cut off lengths of about 3/8 inch. Arrange these on a plate so you have plenty of separated bits at the start of the assembly phase.
Step 4: Cut the bacon. Leave this to last so that you can make a few test wraps to see how long to cut the bacon. With small pieces of meat you can sometimes get by with 1/3 of a slice of bacon. Usually you need ½ a slice of bacon per wrap. You want the bacon to go around the three “inside” ingredients – duck, cream cheese, & pepper – about 2 times. Yeah, I love bacon and you would think that 3 wraps around is better, but the inside layers usually don’t get crispy and some people as squeamish about rare bacon and rare duck.
Take half of a pepper, stuff a piece of cream cheese inside the pepper then overlay a piece of duck. Next take a piece of bacon and wrap the contents as tight as you can. Good bacon can be stretched to make it tight (bad bacon breaks). Go around and overlap the ends and stick the wrap on a skewer. The skewer should pierce the pepper, because that really helps hold the wrap together. Wrap as tightly as you can, so the cream cheese & pepper stay inside during cooking.
I put about 8 wraps on each skewer. I have a big plastic food storage container that perfectly holds the skewers. Then I cover them with marinate. I have tried many marinates and prefer a spicy liquid fajita marinate that comes pre-made. I have used marinates ranging from Italian dressing to barbecue sauce thinned with a little honey and water. They are all good, but Claude’s Fajita marinate is the best. Marinate for a while, then grill slowly until done to your liking. Be careful and keep and eye on them, the dripping bacon grease can get a raging inferno going pretty quickly.