Duck Yakatori Recipe
A Tough Year
Last year was a rough one. All of us experienced some genuinely trying situations and at times it didn’t seem like it would ever end. From a hunting standpoint I had a really hard year but also had some great opportunities. I personally, only bagged one squirrel and a couple of muskrats last year. I spent most of my time out with my new dog. The areas we hunted had all been hit pretty hard. We ended up not getting any birds and only saw a couple of pheasants for the year.
I passed on a decent eight pointer with the hope of seeing something bigger. That never happened, and to twist that blade a little deeper, I shot a doe and never found it.
My duck season was hijacked by COVID-19. My duck hunting guru Eric Passe was quarantined for two weeks. Then, shortly after that I found myself in quarantine for two weeks when my wife tested positive.
The Importance of Friends
I am very fortunate to have some great friends who are willing to help me out every now and then. My buddy Eric was kind enough to pluck a few ducks whole and gift them to me. Other friends helped out as well and I was able to get some venison and some pheasant legs for the freezer. I also had a fair amount left over from last year, so the freezer isn’t totally empty. As I was reorganizing the freezer at the end of the year to make room for some chickens and a hog, I found a pack of duck breasts with duck hearts left over from last year.
I am always looking for new ways to try duck, so when I came across a recipe for Duck Yakitori in Jesse Griffith’s book I just had to try it. Afield: A Chef’s Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish * is Jesse’s first book and is an incredible guide to all things wild. There are so many great recipes and techniques in it. It is one of my favorite books.
Recipe By Jesse Griffiths
2 shallots, cut quarters and separated into large pieces
4 boneless duck breasts, with the skin removed
1 cups Japanese rice wine
1/2 cups soy sauce
2 tablespoons maple sugar
2 tablespoons honey
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoons oil
Salt and pepper
Duck Yakitori Directions
- Cut the duck into 1 inch cubes
In a saucepan over high heat, boil the rice wine, soy sauce, maple sugar, honey and garlic until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside half of the sauce for serving.
- Using short bamboo skewers start putting meat on each skewer with a couple pieces of shallot on each stick.
- Place the skewers on the grill and grill for 1 minute then turn the skewers. When you turn the skewers baste the cooked side with some of your basting sauce. Turn the duck at one minute and baste the other side. Keep turning the skewers every minute and basting until they reach your desired doneness. I like mine a little pink in the middle so I flip them a total of four times.
I served mine with lettuce cups and pickled radishes and the reserved sauce on the side.
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