Hunters that breast their ducks can use them to make a tasty ragù, where the fowl is the star of the show. Wild duck is dark, flavorful meat that should be embraced for its texture and rich taste. A ragù not only allows the duck to hold its flavor but enhances it with a rich sauce and aromatic vegetables.
The beauty of making a ragù is that it’s easy, and having the duck prepared ahead of time means you can cook up dinner quickly at home or when showing off in hunting camp. Slow roasting the duck breasts in stock tenderizes them, allowing you to cube them or even pull the meat into small pieces.
The hour it takes to simmer the ragù will have everyone’s mouth watering, waiting for you to get it on the table. I promise you’ll taste duck and like it.
• 6 duck breasts
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 cups chicken stock
• 6 slices bacon, diced
• 1 large carrot, finely diced
• 2 celery ribs, finely diced
• 1 medium onion, finely diced
• 3 garlic clove, thinly sliced
• 1, 3 oz. can tomato paste
• 1 cup milk
• 1 cup dry white wine
• 1 cup water
• 1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped
• 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 lb. semolina pasta, or egg noodles
• Italian parsley, finely chopped
• Freshly grated pecorino, romano or parmesan cheese
1. In a large cast-iron Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and brown the duck breasts for a couple minutes on each side. Cover with chicken stock and bring to a simmer for two hours. Remove the ducks to cool and dice into small cubes. Discard the liquid.
2. Brown the bacon in the Dutch oven, then add the carrot, celery, onion, garlic and cubed meat. Cook over moderate heat for about 10 minutes until vegetables soften. Add the tomato paste and cook over low heat for 10 minutes.
3. Add the milk, white wine, water, sage and thyme, and simmer the ragù over low heat for one hour, until the sauce thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Prepare 1 pound of your favorite pasta as directed on the package. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce. Stir well, and finish with fresh Italian parsley and freshly grated pecorino, romano or parmesan cheese.
For more delicious wild-game recipes, click here.