Marinated Wild Duck

Dad's Grilled Marinated Duck

My Dad was quite the hunter when he was living and was quite a cook!  This recipe evolved over several duck hunting trips, but this final version is still my favorite way to prepare duck. My husband, on the other hand, is NOT a hunter, so I usually have to substitute domestic duck when I get a craving for this recipe.  But this is just about as good done with domestic duck as it is done with wild duck.

This recipe is NOT Induction friendly due to the wine.  I just don’t think it would be good without it, so I recommend waiting to do this recipe justice.  It’ll be acceptable once you get to Atkins Phase 2 (and beyond).  I KNOW you’ll be glad you tried this!


2 wild ducks, de-feathered, gutted and butterflied (cut up backbone and flattened out)

12 oz. dry white wine

¼ c. chopped parsley

1 stalk chopped celery

1 clove garlic

2-3 whole cloves (or 1/8 tsp. ground cloves)

1/3 tsp. thyme

6-10 black peppercorns

2 whole bay leaves

1 T. Olive Oil

DIRECTIONS:  After plucking and gutting the ducks, cut up the back, flatten with a hammer or cleaver (to butterfly or spatchcock the birds).  Place in glass or plastic marinating pan skin side up.  Mix all marinate ingredients above (except bay leaf) in either a food processor or blender and pulse until all fairly fine.  Pour marinate over duck and add bay leaves to the pan.  Marinate for 6-12 hours, drizzling marinate over ducks or turning them occasionally.

Light charcoal fire.  When coals are hot, place ducks on grill back behind the coals so they get INDIRECT heat.  Place a foil “pan” under duck to catch the fat that drips out as it cooks.  This is essential if using domestic duck which is VERY fatty!  Adjust vents on your grill so you can close grill and smoke/slow cook the birds for 1-1½ hours.  Time will vary depending on the size of the ducks.   Check for doneness where leg joins body like you would a turkey.  Be sure there is no blood at the joint.  Duck flesh (even the breast) is dark meat and can be served slightly pink.

If you are at the grain rung of OWL or beyond, this is excellent with wild rice dressing:  Wild rice is the lowest carb rice out there 109 NC per cup raw compared to 136 NC for a cup of raw brown rice.  Haven’t made it in eons but it’s really good with any fowl or game.  Here’s another delicious stuffing that’s great with duck:

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each containing:

675.3 cals, 44.5 g fat, 4 g carbs, 1.7 g fiber, 47.4 g protein, 2.3 NET CARBS

4 thoughts on “Marinated Wild Duck

  1. Meme

    Question, How do you keep the duck fat from catching fire? If you have the pan below the duck near the charcoal, doesn’t it get hot and splatter?

    1. No, it hasn’t caught fire before for us (or when my Dad cooked these either). I use a 2″ deep 8×10 rectangular cake pan. I think that only happened maybe one time? I would, however, recommend lifting the bird(s), grate and all, off the fire during cooking long enough to empty the pan of its grease whenever it produces more than say 1/2″ deep grease.

    1. I do hope you like this recipe, Meme. It’s a subtle marinate but very nice on wild duck in particula. I’ve even used this recipe on grilled chicken halves before and that is good, too.

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