By Pat Gregory
MANY WATERFOWL hunters sell short the table fare of some species of ducks. Northern shovelers are one of the most abundant ducks in North America, but sadly, many hunters pass on adding them to their daily bag.
With a little time, attention and culinary creativity, the meat of most duck species can taste delicious. Try this recipe for ducks that might be considered less desirable at the dinner table. It could have you reconsidering your decision to hold your fire the next time a flock of spoonies cups into your decoys.
Spoony Wraps — Ingredients
- 4 spoonbill breasts cleaned, skin removed
- 1 green bell pepper, cleaned, both top and bottom cut off and sliced into half-inch strips
- Half a sweet Vadalia onion cut in half and sliced into half-inch strips
- Sliced Portobello mushrooms cut into strips
- 1 package of bacon
- Round toothpicks
- 1 bottle of teriyaki marinade
Preparation and Assembly
Cut duck breasts into ¾-inch strips. Place duck strips into marinade at least two hours, preferably overnight.
Remove duck strips from marinade and prepare your wraps. I like to make two different styles. For the first one, I roll a strip of duck and a Portobello slice in bacon and stick a toothpick in it to hold it together for grilling. For the second wrap, I use a pepper strip and an onion strip with the duck meat, again wrapping it in bacon.
After I have assembled a platter of wraps, I cook them over medium heat on a grill until the spoony meat is medium rare.
Enjoy. After your hunting buddies have tried the wraps, make them guess what kind of duck meat they are eating. They’ll be surprised!
Pat Gregory of Bloomington, Ill., hunts and cooks shovelers and other ducks near the Illinois River.