Mallard Duck Ham over Rice Dressing

Mallard Duck Ham over Rice Dressing
Mallard Duck Ham over Rice Dressing (Source: Thomas, Rachael)


Prep Time: 3 hours

Yields: 6–8 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.

Stirrin' It Up: Mallard Duck Ham Over Rice Dressing (Nov. 13, 2018)

Ingredients for Duck Ham:

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

Method for Duck Ham:

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 seasoning ingredients into a plastic zipper bag and seal tightly. Refrigerate meat in marinade 1 day prior to smoking. Turn bag often while marinating.

When ready to cook, 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 over rice dressing.

NOTE: If you do not wish to serve with rice dressing, the duck ham can be served alongside veggies or on top of salad greens as an entrée or as an appetizer with your favorite dipping sauce.

Ingredients for Rice Dressing:

white rice, cooked

2 cups shredded sweet potatoes

1½ pounds ground beef

1½ pounds ground pork

½ pound chicken livers

3 quarts chicken, beef and vegetable stock (or as needed)

2 cups diced onions

1 cup diced celery

½ cup diced green bell peppers

¼ cup diced red bell pepper

2 tbsps minced garlic

1 cup sliced green onions

½ cup chopped parsley

salt and black pepper to taste

hot sauce to taste

Method for Rice Dressing:

In a cast iron pot or a 12- to 14-inch, heavy-bottomed pot with 4 to 6-inch sides, sauté ground beef and pork over medium–high heat. Cook 30 minutes, chopping occasionally until meat is golden brown and grains are separated. This process is extremely important as the slow browning method will increase flavor in the finished dish.

While meat is browning, poach livers in stock for approximately 20 minutes. Drain livers and reserve stock for later use.

Once meat is browned, add livers, onions, celery, bell peppers, minced garlic, and sweet potatoes. Sauté 12–15 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Using side of cooking spoon, chop livers into meat mixture. Reduce heat to simmer and add stock, 12 ounces at a time, until absorbed to retain moisture. Simmer 2 hours, stirring occasionally until meat is extremely tender and sweet potatoes have disappeared.

Continue to add stock, 12 ounces at a time, until all is used. Stir in green onions and parsley. Season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce. The final consistency should be soft and tender.

This dish should be mixed with two parts cooked, white rice to one part meat, and can be used as a stuffing, dressing, or served alongside a meat dish such as Mallard Duck Ham.

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