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 — as does rinsing the meat well and soaking it in water until the water runs clear — and the bacon keeps the lean meat from drying out during cooking. Plus, everything is better wrapped in bacon!
Before you begin, 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 to marinate.
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. Flatten to approximately 1/2 inch. Spread the flattened meat with softened cream cheese and 1-2 jalapeno slices. Roll the breasts tightly, then wrap in bacon and secure with a toothpick.
Grill over medium heat until the bacon is cooked through.
- Breasts from 6-8 ducks
- 1 lb thin bacon
- 1/2 block of cream cheese
- Pickled or fresh jalapeños
- 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
Clean and rinse duck breasts until the water runs clear. Combine the marinade ingredients and add the meat. Marinade in the refrigerator for approximately 6 hours, or overnight.
Remove the breasts from the marinade and place them, individually, into a plastic bag. Using a meat mallet or heavy skillet, pound the breasts flat. Spread the flattened breasts with softened cream cheese and sprinkle a few jalapeños, if desired. Roll the breast tightly and wrap in one piece of bacon, securing with a toothpick.
Grill over medium-high heat until the bacon is cooked and the duck reaches a temperature of approximately 140°F(for medium rare). We’ve also had luck cooking these in a grill pan on the stove, and even in a 400°F oven.