There isn’t much better in the waterfowl world than a fat, Midwestern mallard: one that has fed his way from cornfield to cornfield on his way down the flyway. To breast and skin such a duck should be punishable by law. Take the time to pluck them and cook them whole. You’ll be glad you did.
For this recipe, we make a simple teriyaki-and-lime-based glaze and cook the duck on our Traeger Grill. Add extra flavor by stuffing the squeezed lime halves into the body cavity while the duck cooks. As with any grilled or fried wild duck, the secret to the best flavor is not to overcook it. I shoot for about 135 degrees in the thickest part of the breast meat, knowing it will rise a few more degrees as the bird rests before carving.
1 whole mallard (or whatever your favorite) duck, plucked, skin on
Salt and pepper to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal, mostly the white section
3/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
Juice from 4 limes (about 1/2 cup, squeezed lime halves reserved)
Zest from 1 lime
Set your Traeger Grill to 350 degrees. Mince the garlic and thinly slice the scallions.
Mix the glaze ingredients and stir well with a whisk or fork to blend.
Salt and pepper the duck well. Stuff 5 to 6 squeezed lime halves into the cavity. Brush the duck all over with the glaze.
Place the duck on the grill, and brush again with glaze mixture. Grill for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the duck reaches 135 degrees in the thickest part of the meat. Glaze every few minutes. Allow the duck to rest, loosely tented with foil, for 10 minutes before carving.
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