The pickle man

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Bacon-Wrapped Duck Breasts

If the pick-up truck parked in your driveway has ever looked like this, then you probably already have some variation of this recipe, but just in case...

I was first introduced to this appetizer over a decade ago by my husband's then-roommate, John, who was, and is, a consummate duck hunter. But most of the hunters I know seem to have some iteration.  I think it's a favorite because wild duck is usually a little gamy and is extremely lean.  The marinade helps a lot with the gaminess and the bacon keeps the lean meat from drying out during cooking.

Breasts from 6-8 ducks
1 lb thin bacon
1/2 block of cream cheese
Pickled or fresh jalapenos
Marinade (recipe below)

First, have your favorite hunter breast the ducks for you, preferably outside.  Rinse them several times, then carefully examine them make sure that all of the shot gun pellets are out -- biting into steel shot is a good way to break a tooth.

Soak them in cold water for a few hours, then put them in a marinade.

  Marinade them for 2-6 hours in the refrigerator.

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Lea & Perrin's Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup red wine
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 tsp red pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper

Combine these in a ziploc bag and shake well.  Then add the duck breasts.

After a few hours, take the breasts out of the marinade and pound them flat.  This process is neater if you place the breasts in a plastic bag first.

 They should be really thin.

Then, spread the flattened meat with soft cream cheese, and place one jalapeno slice per breast.
Roll them up, wrap them in bacon, and secure with a toothpick.  If you have picky eaters, you can leave the jalapeno out of some and color-code your toothpicks accordingly.

Finally, grill!

These take about 10-12 minutes over medium heat, turning once. You can also do them in the oven or on a grill pan on the stove. When the bacon is brown, the duck meat is probably done.  You can use a meat thermometer to check -- cooked breasts should register around 140 if you like them medium rare (which we do, or else they get too tough).  


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