It is because of Eric's generosity that I have been able to discover that Duck pastrami makes a damned tasty sandwich and Toulouse style duck sausages are incredible. I have cooked duck just about every way one could imagine and if anyone out there has a new way they don't think I have tried please send it my way. But it’s not just eating duck that I love. Everything about duck hunting appeals to me. I love the crisp morning air and the smell of burning two cycle engine oil, the interactive part of calling and actually seeing the ducks respond to your calls. I love working a dog and watching a dog go out for a long retrieve, disappearing into the woods and re-emerging with the duck in its mouth, I even love the smell of a wet dog.
These days, with work and kids and schedules I don't get to spend 25-30 days of the 60 day season out in the swamp but I always get down there and I always get ducks. This year was no different, even though I didn't make it down for the opener I got down the first week of the season and we were able to get 7 ducks in a morning hunt. I am sure that if we had stayed out until 4 pm we would have gotten our limit for the day but getting a limit isn't that important to me. Just getting out there and enjoying a beautiful day in the swamp is enough.
Duck hearts are small but are very delicious, Eric has told me stories about he and his brothers eating them when they were kids. I am always looking for something new to try so I googled Duck hearts and a recipe for duck heart tartare came up. Of course the recipe is from Hank Shaw which should come as no surprise to any one. Here is my modified version of Hank's recipe.
Duck Heart Tartare
8 oz of duck hearts (rinsed and cleaned)
1 tsp chopped parsely
1/2 tsp finely diced red jalapeno
1 tsp finely diced shallot
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 clove garlic crushed
1/4 tsp nettle salt
1/4 tsp fresh chopped sage
1 tsp chopped capers
2 tablespoons olive oil
fresh cracked black pepper
Keep the hearts as fresh as possible and as cold as possible until just before serving. rough chop the hearts and mix with other ingredients. serve on crackers or croutons.