Noah Dryden of Omaha, Neb., pictured here with birds and decoys.
Noah Dryden of Omaha, Neb., pictured here with birds and decoys.
Monday, November 15, 2010

Ducks Unlimited was formed in 1937 by a group of sportsmen after the United States waterfowl population plummeted after a drought. This organization focuses on habitat conservation and is the world’s leader in wetlands and waterfowl conservation.

The Coon Valley Chapter of Ducks Unlimited has about 15 committee members. They meet periodically throughout the year in various places in the area and come together for two annual fundraisers. The events include a golf outing in the spring and a fall banquet. The focus of the meetings is to plan for the upcoming fundraisers and Ducks Unlimited activities.

Chairperson Chris Whitaker says the committee’s favorite part is coming together as a group, as there is always time for members to share hunting and fishing tales.

The following are wild game recipes submitted by Coon Valley Ducks Unlimited committee members:

Duck/Pheasant Stir Fry
John Pauli

John Pauli has passed on his love of hunting to his two daughters, Holly and Danielle, and son, Ben. John, a Quality Engineer at Pella Corporation, wife Kathleen, and family live in Carroll. John began hunting at age 10 and enjoys all types of hunting including duck, pheasant, deer, turkey, and especially squirrel.

His hobby has brought him to Alaska, Wyoming, and British Columbia, and Alberta, Canada to hunt. Three years ago in British Columbia he was able to hunt a mountain goat. Locally, he hunts with family and friends in locations such as the Carroll County Conservation areas, Davis Timber, Dickson Timber, and Dunbar Slough.

2 duck and 2 pheasant breasts
1 cup orange juice
6 T soy sauce
3 T sherry wine
2 large carrots
2 stalk celery
4 green onions
1 green pepper
3 cloves garlic
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
4 T olive oil
2 T cornstarch
1 glass Cabernet or Pinot Noir wine
Marinate the duck breast in orange juice, soy sauce, and sherry for 3 hours in refrigerator. Thinly slice the vegetables. Drink some wine. Cut the breasts into bite-sized cubes. Mince the garlic. Cook the carrots for 3 minutes in boiling water.  Add 1 tablespoon oil to the wok. Take a sip of wine. Stir-fry garlic for 30 seconds.  Add onions and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add celery and green pepper and stir-fry for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from wok. Take a sip of wine. Add carrots and mushrooms.  Stir-fry for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from wok. Take a sip of wine. Add 2 T of oil and half of the duck and the pheasant.

Stir-fry meat until done, but still moist (about 2-3 minutes). Remove from wok. Take a sip of wine. Stir-fry remaining duck and pheasant, as before. Do not overcook. Return all meat to the wok. Whisk together cornstarch and marinade and add to the wok. Cook until bubbly and thickens. Return remaining vegetables and ingredients to the wok. Take a sip of wine. Cook for 5 more minutes over low heat. Serve with rice or chow mein noodles. Serves 4.

Duck Wraps
John Pauli

4 duck breasts
fresh spinach leaves
1/2 lb bacon
Cut duck breasts into cube portions 1/2 x 1/2 x 1 inch size chunks. Lay spinach leaves on half a length of bacon. Roll duck cube up as a wrap, with the spinach in the center. Spear with a toothpick. Season lightly with Lawry’s seasoning salt.  Repeat for remainder of the pieces.

Place on medium-hot grill. Grill until bacon is mildly crisp and brown. Be careful of flare-ups. Rotate as needed.  Serve as an hors d’oeuvres or as a meal with wild rice.

Fried Squirrel
John Pauli

1 -    2 squirrels
1 small onion
Crisco shortening
salt and pepper
Clean the squirrels well and par boil for 1-2 hours with the onion until the squirrel is tender. Remove the squirrel and cool. Reserve the liquid. Break the squirrel into 6 pieces — the legs, the back and the ribs.  Place 1/4 cup flour in a plastic bag. Heat the Crisco in the frying pan on medium high. Place half the squirrel into the flour and shake to coat. Place in frying pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Repeat with the remaining pieces. Cook until brown on one side and turn. Continue cooking until the other side is brown. Remove the pieces and place on plate. Keep warm.  Remove remaining oil. Retain 2 cups of broth from boiling meat and cooked onion. To make gravy, add 1-1 ½ tablespoons of flour to broth. Whisk well until flour is not lumpy. Pour into hot pan and stir, loosening fried bits from pan. Continue to stir until gravy is bubbly. Serve with mashed potatoes and vegetables. This makes a tasty fall meal.

Chipotle Duck Pasta
Noah Dryden

This recipe was inspired by a book Noah received for his birthday called The “Hunter’s Table.” It is published by Ducks Unlimited and has recipes for different types of game from all over the United States. He took this recipe and added his own personal spin to give it more of a Midwestern flavor.  

Noah, a 2005 CHS grad, is an Environmental Engineer Technician for JEO Consulting Group, Inc. in Omaha. Noah returns to Carroll to spend time with his parents, Jeff and Marilyn Dryden and to waterfowl hunt with his father, who is also his best friend. Noah has been actively involved in Ducks Unlimited for eight years.

In the Carroll area, Noah hunts mostly on public hunting ground and is leery to share his “honey holes,” as competition is fierce. In Nebraska, he enjoys hunting the Missouri River bottoms. After waterfowl season is over, Noah switches over to pheasant hunting. He’s tried his hand at deer hunting, but prefers hunting game of the flying variety.

¼ cup olive oil
1 pound boneless skinless duck meat cut into small pieces
1 can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (or 1 can of chiles and Ms. Dash chipotle seasoning to taste)
sliced mushrooms
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups half and half
½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
bow tie pasta, cooked and drained
Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the duck and sauté until browned on all sides. Stir in chiles, mushrooms, and wine. Simmer until the mushrooms are tender. Stir in half and half and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and stir in cheese. Serve over cooked pasta and add additional chipotle seasoning to taste.
Note: Cut duck into desired pieces 3 to 4 days prior to cooking and soak in salt water changing water daily.

Seasoned Duck or Goose
Marvin “Marv” Frischmeyer

Marv has been a member of Ducks Unlimited for 35 years. He says, “I love the fact that we are providing a duck habitat for our future generations.” Marv and wife, Julie, live on a farm south of Lidderdale. Daughter Lisa lives in Panora, and son, Dave, lives in Des Moines, and son, Curtis resides at home.
John finds duck hunting to be extremely satisfying. He says it’s a neat feeling to fool Mother Nature by duck calling to get wild game to come to you instead of chasing after it. Marv has become quite skilled over the years. He has built several duck lines that attach to the top of the boat, complete with heaters. Marv also enjoys hunting pheasant, deer, rabbit, squirrel, and quail.

Place duck or goose in crock pot or roaster with your favorite seasonings. Cook in crock pot on low at 250 degrees overnight or like time. Debone duck or goose.  Put in roaster with your potatoes, carrots, celery.  Add l jar of salsa and a like amount of tomato juice. Cook at 325 degrees until potatoes are done and you will have a complete meal.

Duck and Wild Rice
Mike Schlichte

Mike favorite game to hunt is duck, but also spends time hunting pheasant, turkey, and deer. He enjoys hunting with family and friends at Dunbar Slough. His favorite hunting buddy is his son, Jason, a chiropractor in Ankeny. He and Jason love to hunt on his son’s private property. Mike has been an avid Ducks Unlimited committee member for over twenty years. He and wife, LuAnn, have six children – Jason, Amy, Ashley, Dawn, Kelly, and Nicholas.

2 Mallard duck breasts (filleted)
1 box Uncle Ben’s Long Grain and Wild Rice (original recipe)
1 can cream of celery soup
1 small can sliced mushrooms (drained)
Bake duck breast until slightly pink, cut into small pieces. Mix rice seasoning packet with water and butter, as directed on box. Add soup and mushrooms. In casserole dish, place duck and wild rice, stir in seasoning, soup, and mushrooms. Bake at 350 degrees until rice is done. This dish goes well with creamed peas.

Grilled Bacon Wrapped Duck
Mike Schlichte

Cut bacon slices in half. Cut duck breast in pieces large enough to wrap with half slice of bacon. Season duck with your favorite seasoning. Wrap bacon slice around duck and secure with toothpick. Marinate in Italian dressing for several hours in refrigerator. Place on hot grill, grill until pink inside.

Wild Rice and Dressing
Dave Frank

This recipe comes from the late John Drees. He was an avid duck and goose hunter. He and Dave spent many hours talking on Friday nights about upcoming hunts. Dave Frank and wife, Linda, live in Carroll with their son, Sean. Their other son, Scott, lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Dave taught both of his sons to hunt at an early age.

When they were eight, he allowed them to practice with a BB gun, and then eventually, a shotgun. Both sons love to hunt with their father. Around Iowa, Dave’s favorite hunting spot is near the Raccoon River. His says his favorite wild game are duck and quail, but also enjoys hunting goose and deer. Deer hunting is fairly new to Dave, as he began deer hunting with a bow just eight years ago.

Dave treats himself to a large hunting excursion about every three years. In February, he and sons, Sean and Scott, will scour the mountains of the Arizona for wild Javelina pig and mountain lion. This upcoming adventure allows handgun hunting only.

1 cup wild rice
4 cups of water
2 chicken boullion cubes or 1 tsp chicken base and 8 oz of water
Simmer in covered saucepan for one hour. Save liquid, do not drain.

1 lb of pork sausage
1 small can of mushrooms
1 pkg of slivered almonds
2 pkgs of unseasoned croutons
2 large cans of chicken broth
1 large onion (diced)
2 cups celery (chopped)
1 tsp each salt, pepper, Lawry’s seasoning salt, and Accent
1 tsp sage (rubbed or crushed)
olive oil
*Optional – cooked goose or duck meat (pulled or cubed)
Brown sausage, onion, and mushrooms in olive oil. Set aside. Place croutons, celery, and seasonings, sage, and one can chicken broth in a roaster that has been sprayed with Pam. Bake at 275 degrees for one hour. Add rice, sausage, optional goose or duck meat, onion, and mushrooms to mixture. Pour broth over mixture. Add slivered almonds and mix well. Bake dressing at 275 degrees for 2-3 hours. Stir dressing occasionally and add chicken broth to keep moist.

Note – If you prefer not to add goose or duck, this would make a great side to any wild game entrée.