Some might accuse ducks and geese of
being strong in flavour with a grainy texture…but waterfowl is absolutely
delicious when prepared right! One of the best ways to guarantee the best table
fare possible is by soaking your birds in a brine—a simple mixture of salt,
sugar, and water. For centuries, brines have been used to flavour and cure
The waterfowl way.
Brines help remove the capillary blood
found in dark bird meat. Waterfowl breasts, legs and thighs are considered dark
meat, because the muscles are used and tested on a regular basis. These muscles
store blood energy, giving the meat a darker colour and more flavour. In
comparison, a domestic chicken doesn’t fly. With little use, its breast meat is
light in colour.
The basic brine.
A brine is easy to build, and the only
thing you need to remember is to keep it cold. A litre of cold water mixed with
¼ cup of
coarse salt and¼ cup of brown sugar makes the perfect waterfowl brine. Soak
duck and goose meat in the brine for 8 to 12 hours, and you’ll see
the difference in color. Much of the blood stored in the meat is drawn out by
Temps and tips.
Always trim bloodshot and feathers from
your meat before placing it in the brine. This prevents unwanted tastes and
even potential bacteria from ending up in your final dish.
Your brine and birds must always be
stored in the refrigerator or a cooler with sufficient ice. Use a brine only
once, then discard. Remember to rinse brined waterfowl with fresh water before
cooking to avoid a salty taste.
Brines can also be used to infuse
different flavors into the meat. Add garlic, onion, molasses or a medley of
peppercorns to customize your brine. Commercial brines are also super easy to
use. You can measure for different volumes of brine, depending on your hunting
If your family hasn’t embraced the
taste of ducks and geese yet, try brine. You’ll get the flavor and quality
litre of cold water
¼ cup of coarse salt
¼ cup of brown sugar
Your brine and birds must always be stored in the refrigerator or a cooler with sufficient ice. Use a brine only once, then discard. Remember to rinse brined waterfowl with fresh water before cooking to avoid a salty taste.