Saturday 7:15 A.M. The Boardwalk blind at H&H Waterfowl Club,Smyrna,DE.
It was around 20 degrees at legal shooting time. Thank God for modern waterfowl gear...waders with 800 grams of Thinsulate, warm camo coat, camo fleece hat...all the rig to ward of the frigid damp air of the marsh. As my Grandfather would say: "Colder than a grave digger's ass."
A lone mallard hen sweeps by to take a peek at our decoy spread. She is whistlling by right to left. I shoulder the gun and shoot. Splash one mallard. Genna sees the bird drop, marks, and off she goes. The bird is in hand.
I hung the bird overnight and cleaned it on Sunday. On Monday I prepared wild duck cassoulet.
Sauteed onions and garlic. Add the cubes of duck breast and thigh meat( not much meat to garner from the legs of a wild bird.)Add carrots and stock from the Thanksgiving turkey. Fresh Thyme and lots of pepper come next. A dash of salt and chiffonade of Sage
I always add the carcass to braise for a while and extract all that wild flavor of freshly harvested game.
Next add some garlic sausage from DiBruno Brothers in South Philly. Then some white beans and chopped tomatoes join the melange in the Le Cruesette.
Simmer for a while. To serve, toast some Italian bread with a little Gruyere on top. Place the cheese crowned crouton in a bowl and ladle the cassoulete over top. A Pinot Noir or a Barolo pairs well. I am just a knock around kinda guy, not much on wine, so I like a icy cold Stella Artois or even a Yuengling Chesterfield Ale with my cassoulete. A meal like this is the gustatory ancillary benefit to all the fun and work of waterfowling. You cannot get this in ANY restaurant....anywhere.