Posted 30 October 2009 - 06:34 AM
I don't much care for spoonies, widgeon, etc. Fortunately we don't get many of them where I hunt. I shoot mostly mallards and sprig and will go out of my way for a canvasback. We got a lot of cans when I hunted the Columbia River north of Wenatchee when I lived there. We often get a lot of mallards on our field sets for geese frequently getting limits of both in a morning of shooting. The best mallard shoots I've had over the years have been in Central Washington near Moses Lake at Potholes Reservoir and here in Oregon very close to my home. After a period of heavy snow in North Central Washington the Columbia River is a spectacular place to shoot ducks. I say shoot because they come bombing right in on the decoys and frequently land before you can react. It can be fast and furious. We've limited out in just minutes. Canvasbacks are open water birds and the Columbia has it's share of them so I like to save my last one or two birds of the limit, depending on the rules, to try and shoot them. Cans are my favorite duck. A good recipe I like a lot is a simple one. I made this just last night using beef short ribs instead of waterfowl.Cut the duck or goose breasts into bite sized cubes and roll in flour. Brown the cubes in olive oil. To me the best part of a duck or goose is the legs. It's the most flavorful meat on the birds so I add the legs into this dish along with the breast meat. Sometimes I save the legs in the freezer and just slow cook them the same way I do pot roast. Take a can of Campbell's Golden Mushroom soup and put it it a deep baking dish. Instead of mixing it with water use Burgundy or hearty burgundy wine. Mix it up good and then add the meat making sure that the liquid totally covers the meat. You may have to use 2 cans of soup. If you only have breast meat in the mixture you can cook it at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes but if you're using the legs and want them tender and falling off the bone turn the temp to 325 and bake it for about 2 hours. I like to serve this with short grain rice that we buy at an Asian market in Beaverton. The rice is unpolished and sticky and has a wonderful flavor. Even though the rice has a Japanese brand name it's grown in California. You can also buy Nikko Nikko rice in most super markets. It's not bad stuff. I also like to serve this dish with a wild rice casserole that I sometimes make. I've had people who say they don't like eating waterfowl eat this and ask for seconds.