This is a recipe modified from Ted Allen from the Food Channel. I think the show was “Best Thing I’ve Ever Made” 5 pounds or so whole duck. Mine was frozen and thawed. Salt and Pepper. Trim off the tail and neck fat and make sure your duck is empty inside. Mine came with gizzard, liver, neck and packet of orange sauce. I put the fat in a skillet and rendered the fat and saved it. I think it is liquid gold. Saved the liver as well but I’m not sure what I’ll do with it. Pat dry. Salt and pepper inside and out Using a paring knife stab the duck dozens of a times. Not like Psyco but just through the skin on all sides. Stabs, not incisions Place the duck on a roasting pan or a rack with a pan underneath breast side up.(you will be very sorry if you don’t put a pan underneath to catch the fat.) Put into your smoker. (mine is a 025 model) and set the temp for 300. I had a little hickory in the box from and earlier smoke but did not add anymore wood. Probably an ounce or so left over. Every hour remove the duck and empty the fat if you need to. Then stab again on all sides and turn the duck over breast side down. Repeat this for 5 times. Mine was in the smokier a total of 6 hours. Close the door to keep as much heat in as possible when stabbing and rotating the duck. Preheat oven to 425. Place the duck in the oven for about 5 minutes so so to crisp the skin. Rest a while then carve her up. I removed the backbone with scissors first. The legs and wings just about fall off. Real Good!! There was a cherry sauce recipe, but I made my own sauce with cherry preserves, balsamic vinegar, S/P and a little cayenne pepper. I thought being cooked that long might dry it out but it was tender, juicy and delicious. Give it try sometime.
I eat a lot of pheasant. I tried brining and smoking some pheasant breasts last year. They were just "ok". Lots of good ways to cook pheasant. I'm not sure smoking is one of them however. Others can feel free to chime in, and I hope someone proves me wrong.
I have smoked a lot of Canadian geese. It's one of the best ways to prepare them.
Start by soaking wild birds in salt water (not a brine) to draw out as much blood as possible. Change the water several times. The next step is brining the birds overnight. (Just a standard brine.) With my old smoker, I had to keep the skin on, otherwise the outside was like leather. I haven't done this since I got my Smokette. However, with my Cookshack, I think that I can keep the temperature low enough that it shouldn't be a problem. I am going to do some duck breasts tomorrow and will update with any additional info.
I strongly recommend using hickory. Tomorrow, I will probably use about 1 oz, perhaps less.
Some other thoughts: Remove as much fat as you reasonably can (don't be obsessive about i). With the duck breasts, I am going to try a trick that I learned this summer - I am going to soak them overnight in yogurt. It is supposed to lessen the "gaminess" of the meat. (I think that wild ducks tend to either taste like liver or river muck.)
When finished, I slice the meat paper thin. I eat it by putting a slice on a cracker (Town House is my preference) and then putting a sauce on top. In my house, the favorite sauces are La Choy Sweet & Sour, and Kraft Horseradish Sauce. A Major Grey Chutney works well. I'm sure that Raspberry Chipotle would be good. Also, I have some Pineapple/Habanero sauce that I will test on the next batch. However, I think that you can use any sauce that you like.
Soaking in salt water, brining, yogurt, smoking, saucing - with waterfowl, it's all about tenderizing the meat and disguising the taste. ;-)
I have never tried smoking a pheasant, but my hunch is that Soleman is right about smoking them.
Yep,been a bunch of years when Ringnecks were plentiful and I felt the need to change everything with my smoker. Seems like pheasant,Maine lobster,stone crab claws,deep fried alligator tail,calf and turkey fries, and a bunch of other things went better naturally and served something with a very light smoke along side of them.
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