This introduction is by a good friend and avid outdoorsman and conservationist, Troy Davis. ---Bryan Slaven
The subtle ripple of a decoys splash, as it settles against the widgeon grass. The sea smell of salt and sand, refreshes the lungs and steadies the hand. Ol Buds a whining as the first flock appears, their banking and diving the spot that looks clear. As we raise our guns with bead on the bill, our muzzles burn hot for the seasons first kill. Four drop to the water the others fly past, thankful its finally duck season at last!
Photo: Bryan Slaven
This recipe is on loan to us from my good friends Chris and Deb Martin at Bay Flats Lodge in Seadrift, Texas. Their location, the Guadalupe Delta, is home to some of the finest bay fishing and duck hunting on the Gulf Coast. If you have not had the good fortune of spending a day on the water with their awesome guides and a gourmet meal at their lodge you owe it to yourself and your family or good customers to experience it firsthand.
(Serves 6 to 8 hungry duck hunters)
This recipe calls for a crockpot, if you dont have one on hand, an 8 qt. dutch oven will work as well.
2 bowls of cubed duck breast
1 bowl of cubed salt pork
Duck stock, 5 lbs duck parts (backs, necks, carcasses, and giblets), 2 lg onions, coarsely chopped
1- 6 oz. box of Uncooked Uncle Bens long grain wild rice
Package of Zatarains gumbo mix w/ rice
4 stalks Sliced Celery- ½" thick
Heat extra-virgin olive oil to medium-high setting. Add cubed duck and salt pork to olive oil. Braze duck until the meat turns brown. Drain off olive oil, move duck meat and salt pork to crock-pot. For duck stock, wash duck parts well and place them in a large stockpot. Add cold water to cover by about 2 inches and slowly bring to a boil, skimming all of the froth from the surface as it forms. Lower the heat and add all of the remaining ingredients. Simmer, uncovered, for 3 hours. Add water as needed to cover the ingredients and skim as necessary. Strain the "soup" into a large bowl through a colander lined with double layer of dampened cheesecloth. Gently press the solids to extract all of the liquid possible. Discard the solids. Start adding in all vegetables and potatoes. Season to taste. Add uncooked wild rice to the crock-pot. Turn on high for 4 hours and switch to low or warm. (If using the Dutch oven use med. low heat to keep from sticking)