By Chris Jennings
The spring of 2020 was unique, to say the least. As society faced uncertainty, hunters came to the forefront in many neighborhoods, offering wild game dishes to friends and family when grocery store shelves lay empty. At Ducks Unlimited, we noticed a significant trend during this period—waterfowlers were searching for new ways to cook their game. The DU website, ducks.org, became a hub for hunters seeking new recipes and advice from our own culinary expert, Ducks Unlimited magazine cooking columnist Scott Leysath. Here are the most popular search results for waterfowl recipes and cooking tips on ducks.org during the early stages of the pandemic.
Editor’s Note: The popularity of this classic waterfowl recipe was no surprise. It is simple to prepare, hearty, and a great way to cook in bulk.
Try Savory Duck Stew.
Editor’s Note: This topic received a lot of interest during the lockdown. Perhaps with more time on their hands, hunters were exploring entry-level techniques that beginners could try at home.
Learn more about Waterfowl Cooking Basics.
Editor’s Note: Marinades and rubs are also perennial favorites, and the popularity of this topic again shows that hunters were experimenting with easy-to-prepare cooking methods.
Try Making Marinades and Rubs for Waterfowl.
Editor’s Note: Making jerky isn’t particularly difficult, but it is time consuming. Apparently, many waterfowlers took advantage of the opportunity to make these spicy snacks during lockdown.
Try Spicy Goose Jerky.
Editor’s Note: A delicious duck or goose gumbo should be in the culinary repertoire of every wild game chef. Learning how to make it like they do in south Louisiana is the only way to go.
Try Cooking Louisiana's Best.
Editor’s Note: Grilling is an art form all its own, and it can be a particularly tricky way to prepare lean waterfowl meat. As someone who enjoys grilling, I was pleased to see this recipe move into the Top 10.
Try Five Grilling Tips for Ducks and Geese.
Editor’s Note: Smoking is another versatile cooking method that should be in every duck hunter’s culinary arsenal. This piece offers step-by-step instructions for smoking ducks and geese to be enjoyed as a main course or as an appetizer.
Try Where There's Smoke, There's Flavor.
Editor’s Note: The popularity of deep-fried turkeys more than likely pushed this recipe into the Top 10, but frying is also a simple and delicious way to prepare ducks and geese, especially when accompanied by flavorful dipping sauces.
Try Deep Fried Duck.
Editor’s Note: Who doesn’t like tacos? The popularity of this street taco recipe proves that many hunters were missing their favorite local Mexican restaurant.
Try Authentic Duck or Goose Street Tacos.
Editor’s Note: Well, it’s bacon.Of course it made the Top 10.
Try Duck Bacon.