Smoked Duck Ham

Stirrin' It Up: Smoked Duck Ham (February 26)

Prep Time: 2 Hours

Yields: 4–6 Servings


Mallard ducks are prevalent in the marshy regions of Louisiana, and they are the most abundant ducks in the Mississippi Valley. These ducks like fresh water, although they rarely dip beneath the surface except to avoid danger.


4 mallard duck or goose breasts

2 tsps kosher salt

1 tsp pink curing salt

2 tbsps light brown sugar

1 tsp black pepper

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 tbsp chopped thyme

1 tbsp chopped basil

1 tbsp chopped tarragon

½ cup dry red wine

¼ cup Louisiana cane syrup or maple syrup

2 tbsps vegetable oil

2 (12-ounce) bottles root beer


NOTE: For added flavor, soak wood chips in water and add to coals just before cooking. In a large mixing bowl, combine duck or goose breasts with all ingredients except root beer. Massage seasonings into meat. Place breast meat and all ingredients into a plastic zipper bag and seal tightly. Refrigerate meat in marinade 1 day prior to smoking. Turn bag often while marinating. Heat a home-style smoker according to manufacture's directions. Fill smoker's water pan with root beer and 1 quart water. Remove breasts from marinade and place on top of smoker. Pour remaining marinade into water pan. Smoke breasts 1 hour or until internal temperature reaches 155°F. Cut each breast into 6–8 slices and serve as an entrée or as an appetizer with your favorite dipping sauce.