Archive for the 'Duck' Category

Food Week: Respect for Wild Protein

Thursday, November 22nd, 2018
Holly Heyser and Hank Shaw at McKinney Falls State Park

Holly Heyser and Hank Shaw at McKinney Falls State Park

This is Passport to Texas Food Week

Journalist Holly Heyser didn’t grow up in a hunting family. She took up the sport to spend more time with her boyfriend who is a hunter, author and chef.

I got sick of being alone on weekends when he was out duck hunting all day long. He would get up at two in the morning and be out forever….well…it didn’t take that for me to join him. What it took was for him to cooking a lot of ducks, and wild ducks, especially where we live in the Sacramento Valley. Amazing. Really great food.

It seems appropriate that on Thanksgiving, Holly shares how she gained new appreciation and respect for all animals—not just wild game—and the meat they provide.

Since I started hunting, I am so much less wasteful of meat. Even if I’m at a restaurant, if there’s a burger on my plate, I will not leave one single bite of meat on my plate, because I know an animal died for that. And when it’s animals you hunt, especially…we invest a lot of time. We can spend 12 hours and a lot of money on gas, to go and maybe get two ducks one day. That’s a precious gift, and you don’t waste it. So it’s really made me understand the value of the food we eat. And, I appreciate it a lot more than I ever used to. And the fact that it’s wild food and it’s absolutely delicious is icing on the cake.

Wild game is free range, organic, sustainable, and nutritious. Find game recipes on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

Happy Thanksgiving and bon appetit from all of us at Passport to Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Reducing “Gaminess” in Game

Wednesday, January 24th, 2018
Processing venison at Feral Kitchen

Processing venison.

This is Passport to Texas

If you take a pass when offered wild game and fish because you think it tastes funny…

Most wild game and fish, if it’s off-tasting, is ruined between the kill and the kitchen, and not in the kitchen, itself.

Susan Ebert is a hunter, angler, forager and cook; she wrote the book Field to Table, a guide to growing, procuring, and preparing seasonal foods—including wild proteins.

As good as the recipe might be, unless people know how to care for that game from the time it’s harvested, to the time that they’re ready to cook with it, they’re going to be disappointed with the results.

A clean kill, proper field dressing and getting everything on ice as soon as possible is vital. Once you have the meat at home…

Venison and wild duck—I will dry age those. Maybe 48 hours. Set them over a drip pan, on a rack. And let them just dry age in the refrigerator uncovered, with air circulating around them.

Ebert recommends brining rabbit and feral hog; brine can be as simple as sugar and salt dissolved in water.

Let that brine for a couple of days. Then, sear it over the grill and then either move it over indirect heat or put in it the smoker at a low temperature…

Until it is succulent. Find wild game and fish recipes on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

That’s our show for today… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Wild Game for the Holidays

Friday, October 6th, 2017
Wild Boar Chops

Wild Boar Chops


This is Passport to Texas

This time of year hunting seasons begin to overlap: quail….duck…deer…you get the picture.

As a result, hunters—and those of us who benefit from knowing hunters—end up with freezers full of game meat. There are worse problems to have.

With the holidays on the horizon, wouldn’t a dish featuring game be a nice addition to your feast? Heck, even the Great British Baking Show had their contestants bake festive game pies.

If you’re stumped when it comes to preparing wild proteins for the holiday table…perhaps a little hands-on cooking class can set you on the right course.

Texas Parks and Wildlife collaborates with Central Market Cooking Schools statewide to offer hands on wild game and fish cooking classes to the public. November’s class is all about dressing up game for the holidays.

Class participants will prepare: Grilled Quail with Red Chile Honey Glaze…Whiskey Spiced Duck with Swiss chard & celery root…and Venison Filet with Blueberry Pan Jus on Cheese Grits.

Tell me that doesn’t sound like a party waiting to happen. The next class is November 14, and takes place in Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Southlake, and Plano. All locations are currently accepting registrations.

Find more information at passporttotexas.org. That’s our show for today… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

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Find A Central Market Wild Game Class Near You