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Duck, Duck, Goose: The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Waterfowl, Both Farmed and Wild Hardcover – October 1, 2013
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Featured Recipes from Duck, Duck, Goose
“A Best Cookbook of 2013”—Sunset
“Hank Shaw elevates waterfowl to its rightful place in the culinary skies. He will teach you how to turn flesh into edible works of art without sacrificing practicality. I’ll be reading—and using—this book for decades to come.”
—Steven Rinella, author of American Buffalo and Meat Eater
“You don’t have to be a hunter to want to cook duck and goose. Thankfully, Hank Shaw has demystified these birds for all to enjoy!”
—Chris Cosentino, chef-owner of Incanto and winner of Top Chef Masters
“Throughout history in Europe, Asia, and the Americas, the tasty, sustainable, and versatile duck has satisfied many happy diners. Whether you want to know the difference in taste between certain species or even how to make a duck hot dog, Hank’s book is a perfectly thorough guide on everything you need to know about preparing duck.”
—Daniel Boulud, chef, restaurateur, and author of Braise
“Hank Shaw has produced a kind of ‘ultimate cookbook,’ which I found utterly fascinating. Here is everything you will ever need to know about ducks and geese, how to hunt them in the supermarket or in the marsh, and how to cook them.”
—Paula Wolfert, author of The Cooking of Southwest France and Mediterranean Cooking
“In my universe there is no bigger star than Hank Shaw. Passionate and learned, his writing provides the inspiration for those who don’t live the outdoors lifestyle to be in the field and on the water. His recipes teach even the most expert cook how to use the right techniques for handling waterfowl in the kitchen and his wit and wisdom make Duck, Duck, Goose a superb read. With Holly Heyser’s beautiful and practical imagery, this book delivers on its promise to make us all more competent cooks.”
—Andrew Zimmern, host of Bizarre Foods and Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre World
“I grew up among avid duck hunters and have enjoyed many meals of teal, mallards, and other wild ducks, and as a chef I’ve worked with every kind of domesticated duck. It’s no secret that duck is one of my favorite things to cook. I love that this book exists! I hope it will inspire many more cooks to explore the wonderful flavor of wild and domesticated ducks.”
—Traci des Jardins, James Beard Award-winning chef and owner of Jardinière
If your acquaintance with water fowl is limited to Peking duck and Christmas goose, then, welcome, because you're holding an invitation to a remarkable world of cooking. Hank Shaw's recipes, along with his inimitable prose, lure you into the kitchen, encouraging you to cook everything from whole birds to giblets; dishes smoked and drunken; Chinese, French, Laotian, and German; crispy and braised. Shaw's passion is so infectious, his knowledge so commanding, Duck, Duck, Goose is more than a cookbook. It's a culinary field guide to dishes delightfully exotic to comfortingly familiar.
—David Leite, author of The New Portuguese Table and publisher of Leite's Culinaria (LCcooks.com)
Top customer reviews
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Hank Shaw needs to go back to the political scene.
Hank Shaw is a want to be in the world of Wildgame Chefs.
Otherwise really enjoy having this book in my collection.
This cookbook--while it is an admirable effort--is not going to fit with everyone's agenda: While there are quite a few recipes meant for domestic ducks, there are just as many for wild ducks. As I'm personally more interested in finding some good recipes for wild waterfowl, and because I think there are plenty of domestic duck recipes available in a multitude of great cookbooks, I am going to focus on the wild bird preparations in this book.
If you are just looking for a few nice recipes for domestic ducks and geese, I think you should pass on this book and keep on looking. If you are truly interested in waterfowl (especially wild birds) cooking techniques, and all its intricacies, you probably want to add this book to your collection. It is not a book to take to the field, but after reading it, you will have the ability to clean, prep and simply cook your birds at your camp if you are not heading home. If you always shoot your limit, if you hunt very often, if you have a lot of time on your hands, or if hunting waterfowl is your main love, you will want to buy a copy of this book.
YOU CAN STOP READING HERE, as I've given you all the basics above. But if you are still undecided about this book, I've given a lot more info below. My point of view is that of a hunter, a hunter's wife and an experienced home cook:
In the wild duck category, this author does much of his hunting in California. And his experience with the kind and quality of ducks there is evident in his information, advice and instructions. You need to seriously stop and think about the kind, quality and quantity of waterfowl you normally bag in your area in a season, then proceed with my review. You will also need to consider how much effort you are willing to make to prepare your bird for cooking.
My first thoughts--actually it is coming out as a legitimate question: Are the waterfowl in California that much bigger and fatter than those we shoot in Texas? I ask this because this author talks about giblets that approach 1 pound (No, that is not normal for geese (and not even large ducks) that populate the fields below San Antonio and Houston, south and east to the Gulf coast where we hunt.). He also talks about a decent layer of fat on a breast. Really? That's wishful thinking down in our neck of the woods.
The author mentions that, with practice, you can hand-pluck seven ducks in an hour (using paraffin). Well, I'm doubting that, too, because even if you have the opportunity to pass your birds through a plucking machine, it still takes a good long while to get the rest of the feathers out.
But, put it this way--and it's the bottom line: If you are not willing to pluck your duck, many of these recipes will be off-limits for you. Of course, you can mix domestic with skin-on and/or skin-off birds (like I do sometimes) and arrive at some kind of a maybe-not-happy-but-passable medium.
If you don't want to take any more effort than breasting out your bird, there will still be a few recipes that you'll be able to use. They are not involved recipes, and if you already cook your breasts (rather than give them away), you probably have a handle on how to cook them properly and serve them sliced thin with a nice sauce and a complimentary side dish. If you don't have a handle on cooking breasts, this book will surely benefit you and push you along the road to better-tasting waterfowl.
I've gotten a few ideas from reading and thinking about and reviewing this book. For years now, I utilize the giblets of the birds we shoot. And I'll grab the giblets from another hunter's birds if he/she doesn't want them. (Other hunters, hearing that we partake of the giblets, are a bit in awe (maybe they are dumbfounded...) of our extra work and the care we take to protect these delicate morsels in our Texas heat.) We love the livers, and use the rest in stock. But I never considered keeping the feet and adding them to my stock--I will start doing that from now on. In the past, I considered the idea of saving the neck skin for duck sausage, but I discarded the idea due to the effort involved.
You also have to consider how many birds you can accumulate and freeze in a season before taking too many of this author's ideas to heart: How feasible is it to accumulate pounds of teal hearts and livers--if teal is what you shoot most often? And, then you need to consider your birds' terroir; where they feed: If you've got spoonies or gadwalls and widgeons that were feeding along the coast, your list of recipes is further diminished. Although the author claims that the fishy taste of ducks that have been feeding along the shore can be eliminated by simply removing skin and fat. (In all our years hunting, we have not found that to be true.)
Before I get too much further into the pros and cons of this cookbook, I'm just going to list some of the recipes to give you an overall picture of what you'll find if you buy this book:
--His basic roasting for a wild bird is at a lower temp and less time than what I'm used to. It sounds workable, but I don't have any whole birds in my freezer to double-check. (I'm doing this review in the summertime.)
--He explains the technique for salmis, a French dish, where the whole bird is roasted at high heat for a short time, then the breasts are removed and the rest of the bird is allowed to continue cooking. Then after removing the legs, the carcass is used to make the sauce. Yes, some of his recipes are quite involved.
--He also discusses waterfowl and sous vide, providing a list of bird parts and their appropriate cooking temps and times.
--Duck breast with cherries; duck breast with morels; goose breast with orange and anise; with kasha and mushrooms;
--there is a poached duck breast with root veggies that is admirable;
--a German-style goose meatball;
--Mexican duck with green mole;
--Ganseklein, which is a German giblet soup: Got two pounds of gizzards and hearts?
Take-offs on recipes for other meats:
--Duck Jagerschnitzel, which would be a schnitzel or Texas chicken fried whatever;
--Duck fried rice;
--Duck pho (Vietnamese);
--duck and shrimp gumbo;
--duck tagine with chestnuts;
--Thai duck curry;
What I didn't care for:
--A duck fat vinaigrette;
--Italian duck meatballs;
--Buffalo duck wings;
--Duck heart tartare puttanesca: Do you have three or four dozen hearts in your freezer?
--Crispy duck tongues: One pound of bird tongues....how many do you think it would take to make a pound?
--duck fat pie dough;
Do you want to get really involved? Then try goose prosciutto, duck hot dogs, duck braunschweiger; duck sausage in duck neck skin.
Last, but not least: The layout could have been made easier to follow: Listing prime ingredients, or ideal choice of bird, then listing alternatives. As it is, it is hard to ferret out all the possibilities in each recipe.
So, I don't know: The verdict is still out for whether or not I'll find value in buying this book. I believe the author spent a lot of time and effort in his gourmet pursuit of waterfowl, and I think for many dedicated hunters, it will prove to be an immensely valuable cookbook. But this is truly one of those books that will be valued differently for each of us. I don't mean to lead you astray. I don't mean to discourage you from picking up this book. At the very least, it would behoove you to look through a copy of it.
I welcome any comments, and I think your comments could be helpful to all. If you don't want to comment publicly, you can find my email address at my Profile Page.
**I received a temporary download of this cookbook from the publisher, through NetGalley. I've been scrutinizing and working with this cookbook for over two months.**
It's overall well-written and the layout is decent, though the organization can be improved. It's a little difficult to find what you're looking for in the book. Still, it has many recipes I can't wait to try once I have enough ducks in my freezer to try it out.
Looking specifically for goose recipes, however? This isn't your book.
Here are some of the things Hank Shaw says in his introduction:
"Cooking a duck or a goose in today's world is an act of expression. It is a way to find that forgotten feast we Americans once enjoyed, to free ourselves from the Tyranny of the Chicken and shake our fists at the notion that fat is our enemy."
"Cooking a duck or goose--a whole bird, from bill to feet--is real cooking. True, honest cooking."
"Perfectly cooked duck breast has the meatiness of a steak with an additional cloak of fatty, crispy skin."
"Cooking a duck properly is not rocket science, though it does require some specialized knowledge."
"And i am certain that either your or someone you know has his or her Great Goose Disaster story."
"Taste it. Savor it. You will see. A perfect duck breast is a revelation, a life-changing event. There will be no turning back."
In other words, COOK DUCK RIGHT NOW. IT'S REALLY HARD AND YOU'LL BE TERRIBLE AT IT WITHOUT THIS BOOK. BUT YOU HAVE THIS BOOK SO DO IT NOW. NOW! DO IT NOW!
Ack! I've never been intimidated by cooking duck in my life but apparently I've been doing it wrong. Here I thought it was one of the easiest birds in the world to cook, harder to mess up than it is to make delicious. It's my go-to protein for fancy meals and I've never had a bad experience. Then again, I've also never encountered Hank Shaw's level of alarmist passion.
As for goose, I'm actually comforted by the fact that Shaw paints such a harrowing picture of goose-cooking disasters. It makes me think that, as with duck, the opposite may in fact be true. Maybe this year I'll try goose for Christmas. And hey! I've got a whole book of recipes to draw from!