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Cleaning birds


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Most of the time I breast them out. Marinate them , grill with or without bacon wrapped around .when the bacon is done they are done. Buddy likes it with the skin still on the breast says it holds lots of flavor. I only pluck small ducks like teal and Woodies. Bake in oven with apples and onions....
Don't let them age . Clean soon as u get home . Soak in salt water for a day if needed. No organs .

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I've been cleaning birds since I was 7 years old. The old man made me pluck, skin, gut and singe all of his catch. As a child it sucked! So I've found some great process and will share. First of all, head shoot the birds. No one wants to clean a destroyed bird. Not worth it. Plucking them is not worth it either. I can give you a hint on that if you like. 

Breast them out and prep however you like. Cut the legs out and cook confit (google the process}. Don't waste the leg meat, it's awesome. I'll continue if you're interested.

Good luck!



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The number and types of birds usually determines how I clean them. Woodies always get plucked, singe the smaller feathers off and split down the middle to cook in cast iron or on the grill. I currently have a couple whole plucked mallards in the freezer that will be for a special dinner (cooking a whole duck properly is tedious). For most puddle ducks I will breast out and cook skin on, divers always get skinned. Geese get breasted out skinless and also have legs worth saving.


Hank Shaw is an amazing wild game chef and has so many unique ways to cook ducks, geese, and their parts. Check it out.


Edited by dawsonscreek
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If I get a bunch, I breast them. They are good with Louisiana dishes (see zatarans). One or two birds I dry pluck   and gut them. Cook in oven with a rub. Don’t over cook. You want it to look like prime rib with blood - will taste like Roast Beef. Over cook and tastes like liver- yuk. 

Edited by Gill-T
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