Roast Duck with Apricot Stuffing

Laura Gressett

Building & Planning

2 ducks

3/4 cup onion, chopped

1 1/2 cup celery, diced

3 Tbl butter

1 1/4 cup toasted bread crumbs

1/3 cup dried apricots, finely chopped

1 Tbl brandy

1/2 tsp salt

Dash pepper

3/4 cup dry red wine or brandy

1/3 cup water

2 tsp cornstarch

1 Tbl cold water

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Wash and dry ducks thoroughly and salt insides.

Saute onion and celery in butter for 5 minutes, combine with toasted bread cubes and apricots. Sprinkle with brandy, salt and pepper. Mix well.

Fill ducks loosely with stuffing, fasten openings with skewers and lace closed. Place ducks in roasting pan. Combine wine (brandy) and water, pour over ducks.

Roast 30 minutes basting frequently.

Skim fat from pan drippings and discard.

Dissolve cornstarch in water, stir into pan drippings and cook, stirring constantly until thickened.

Serve gravy with ducks.

waterfowl heaven.jpg

Kayak Hunting

Will Tastad

Building & Planning

Classic Steak au Poivre w/Goose

Will Tastad

Building & Planning

I serve steak au poivre with bitter greens (watercress is classic) and either a potato of some sort (roasted fingerlings are nice) or when I can find them, roasted porcini or morels. But you can serve it up with whatever you'd like.

Serves 4.

Prep Time: 30 minutes, mostly to let the meat come to room temp

Cook Time: 20 minutes

4 steaks (dusk breasts, small goose breasts, venison, elk, bison, beef, etc) Salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

1/4 cup minced shallot

1/4 cup duck glace de viande, or 1/2 cup duck or beef stock

1 tablespoon roughly cracked black peppercorns

1 tablespoon green peppercorns

1/3 cup brandy

1/4 cup heavy cream

1.Take the steaks out and salt them well. If you are cooking goose breasts, let them sit out a solid 30 to 45 minutes. Generally, the thinner the steak the shorter the time it needs to come to temperature. And if you make this with streaks 1/4 inch or thinner, take them right out of the fridge and into the hot pan.

2.Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large saute pan set over medium-high heat. When the butter is hot, pat the steaks dry with paper towels and lay them in the pan so they don't touch each other. Sear them, turning only once, until they are done to your liking, using the finger test for doneness. If you are using duck or goose breasts, follow my instructions for cooking a duck breast here. Put the steaks on a cutting board to rest while you make the sauce.

3.Make sure you have only about 2 to 3 tablespoons of fat in the pan; if you've cooked duck or goose breasts you will need to remove some. Add the shallot and saute until it begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the glace de viande or stock and the peppercorns and bring to a boil. Boil this down by half if you are using stock — you need not do this with the glace, as it is already reduced.

4.Add the brandy, bring it to a boil and let this boil furiously until you can drag a wooden spoon through the center of the pan and watch it leave a trail. This typically takes about 2 to 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and mix in the cream. When the sauce stops bubbling, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter one tablespoon at a time, swirling each tablespoon in to incorporate it. Doing this should prevent the butter from separating. Serve either over or under your steaks.

Wild Game Stir Fry

Sharon Weinhold


~ 1-2 cups game bird, boiled, deboned and cut into bite size pieces. Reserve the broth.

~ 1/4 cup soy sauce

~ 1 teaspoon corn starch

~ 1 teaspoon sesame oil, not a blend

~ 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

~ 1/4 cup honey roasted peanuts

~ 1 tablespoon oil

~ 1 tablespoon ginger root

~ 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

~ 1 cup game broth

~ green onion tops, chopped to taste

~ wild rice

~ game broth

* Cook the wild rice per package directions substituting game broth for water. Keep 1 cup of broth back to use later.

* Marinate the meat in 1 tablespoon soy sauce and corn starch. Set aside.

* Combine the 1/4 cup soy sauce, sesame oil, 1 cup broth and red wine vinegar together. Set aside.

* Combine the green onion and peanuts. Set aside.

* Heat the oil over medium high heat and sauté the ginger root and red pepper flakes for 30 seconds.

* Add the meat and marinade. Stir fry for 1 minute.

* Add the other liquid ingredients and stir until translucent.

* Add the green onion and peanuts. Stir until combined.

* Serve over the wild rice. Serves 2-3

Geese Flying North

Geese Flying North 2.jpg

Sharon Weinhold


Many large flocks of geese passed over Cowlitz County as they were flying north for summer.



Sharon Weinhold


Abernathy Creek Male and Female Mergansers

This male and female merganser couple were seen on Abernathy Creek. In talking to Abernathy Creek locals, there are differences in opinion on how to cook a merganser.

Merganser Recipe 1 

  1. Clean the meat of any leftover feathers and fat.
  2. Cut the breasts into thin strips
  3. Put the Merganser in milk for about 20-minutes
  4. Add a mixture of 2/3 corn meal to 1/3 flour, salt and pepper
  5. Wash the meat off and make a fresh bowl of batter with milk and an egg whipped together. Add a mixture of 2/3 corn meal and 1/3 flour
  6. Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly
  7. Dip the Merganser strips in the egg/milk mixture
  8. Then dip the sticky meat in the dry ingredients and set it aside.
  9. Repeat until everything is covered.
  10. Heat up the oil and add a little salt and garlic to the oil
  11. Drop strips into the hot oil and fry for 4-5 minutes
  12. Take the Merganser out of the oil and place the strips on paper towels to cool and dry off the excess oil. Serve and enjoy.

Merganser Recipe 2 

  1. Get a roof tile
  2. Put merganser on tile
  3. Season merganser
  4. Put both in oven and bake 4 hours
  5. Take out tile with Merganser
  6. Throw merganser away; Eat tile.

Grilled Duck Burgers


Laura Gressett

Building & Planning

1 lb ground duck

2 Tbsp bread crumbs

2 tsp minced raw onion

1 tsp chopped parsley

1/2 tsp minced garlic

Coarsely ground salt and pepper to taste

1 Tbsp canola oil or melted butter

3 Hamburger buns

Directions: 1) Preheat grill to medium-high. Mix ground duck, bread crumbs, onion, parsley, and garlic in a bowl and let it set 10 minutes.

2) Form 3 patties from mixture and generously coat with salt and pepper.

3) Brush grill rack with oil or butter and place patties on grill. Turn patties when bottom side is char-marked. Continue to turn, brushing with oil/butter as needed, until internal temperature reaches 155 degrees F (about 5 to 7 minutes) 4) Cut buns in half and toast. Place burgers on buns and top with desired condiments.

HHolding Duck.jpgolding Duck

Will Tastad

Building & Planning

Sunrise on the water.jpg

Sunrise on the Water

Will Tastad

Building & Planning

Duck Gumbo

Will Tastad

Building & Planning

Ingredients: 4 to 5-pound duck (prefer breast meat) 4 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups small dice onion
3/4 cup small dice celery
3/4 cup small dice green, red and/or yellow bell peppers
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 (12-ounce) bottle stout beer
6 cups dark chicken stock, or chicken stock or water
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
5 teaspoons seasoning (I prefer Cajun mix) 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 pounds Andouille sausage (or other smoked sausage), cut into 1/2-inch rounds
Steamed white rice, for serving
1 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup chopped parsley leaves

Directions: Rinse the duck under cold running water. Season the duck with 2 teaspoons of your preferred seasoning mix (Cajun preferred).

Place a large Dutch oven over medium heat for 2 minutes, or until hot. Place the seasoned duck, skin side down in the pan and sear until golden brown, about 7 to 8 minutes. Turn the duck over and sear on the second side as well for an additional 7 to 8 minutes. Remove the duck from the pan and place on a platter while you make the roux.

Add the vegetable oil to the pan as well as the flour. Using a wooden spoon, stir the roux continuously over medium heat until the color of dark chocolate, about 20 to 25 minutes. Add the onions, celery and peppers and garlic to the roux and stir, gently until the vegetables are slightly wilted, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Pour the beer over the vegetables and stir to incorporate. Add the stock/water to the pan with the thyme, bay leaves, preferred seasoning (Cajun), cayenne pepper and the remaining 2 teaspoons of salt. Add the sausage. Stir the pot well to ensure that the roux and the stock are well blended. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring the gumbo to a boil; then lower to a simmer. Return the seared duck pieces to the pan and cook (skimming any foam and fat that may rise to the surface), for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

To serve the gumbo, ladle 1 cup into a heated soup bowl with 1/4 cup white rice. Garnish with the green onions and chopped parsley.

Duck Jalapeno Poppers

Will Tastad

Building & Planning


Cajun cream cheese: 1/2 pound cream cheese (recommended: Philadelphia) 2 tablespoons Cajun spices (2 teaspoons paprika, 2 teaspoons cayenne, 2 teaspoons garlic powder)

Zesty Italian dressing:

3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasonings
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt


6 fresh jalapeno pepper slices
6 white onions slices
2 slices thinly sliced bacon, cut into thirds
2 skinless liberty duck breasts


Cajun cream cheese: Mix all the ingredients thoroughly in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Italian zesty dressing: Whisk all the ingredients in a medium bowl until blended.

For the duck poppers: Slice each duck breast, horizontally, into 3 slices. Cover the slices with plastic wrap and lightly pound until thin. Put 1 jalapeno pepper slice, 1 onion slice and 1 tablespoon Cajun cream cheese on 1 end of each slice. Roll up and wrap in a piece of the bacon. Secure the roll with a toothpick to hold the bacon in place. Add them to the zesty Italian dressing and marinate for 2 hours.

Preheat a grill pan or grill over medium heat. Add the duck poppers and cook just until bacon is done! Remove them from the grill, transfer to a serving platter and serve.