Category Archives: Blog

Wild Venison burgers with pickled beetroot and a fried egg

 

 

Burger Pic

Wild Venison burgers with pickled beetroot and a fried egg
Serves 8
When it comes to using high quality ingredients I like to keep it simple. There’s no need to add a whole bunch of ingredients and flavours to something that is already so good and wild venison you’ve harvested yourself is about as good as it can get.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
55 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
55 min
You’ll need to make or buy
Burger buns
Tomato relish or sauce
Mayo
Lettuce
Tomato
Venison Burgers
800g venison
200g pork mince
1tps salt
1/2tspn white pepper
Pickled Beetroot
3 large beetroot
1/2C cider (or white wine) vinegar
1/2C sugar
1/2C Water
For the Burger patties
Combine all ingredients well, mould into burger shapes 1-2cm thick and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to cook them.
For the Beetroot
Place the whole beetroot in a pot of salted water and simmer until the beetroot is very tender. Drain then rub the skins off and slice. Combine the vinegar, sugar and water and bring to the boil then take off the heat. Add the beetroot to the vinegar mix and allow to cool before storing in the fridge. Will last at least 4 weeks.Is best made well ahead of time and left to marinate.
To serve
After you’ve made your pickle and got your burgers ready, the first thing you’ll want to do is get your lettuce washed and either shredded or pulled apart and your tomatoes sliced up. This is a great recipe to throw on the BBQ if you get some good weather, so get your hot plate warmed up, crack a cold beer and get ready to make some burgers. Grease your hotplate (or fry pan if using the stove) with a little oil and making sure it’s nice and hot throw your venison on. Give it about 2-3 minutes on each side to ensure it is nicely browned but make sure you cook it so it’s still pink in the middle. Warm your buns, fry your eggs then put the whole thing together. Spread some tomato relish on the bottom bun and mayo on the top, place your lettuce and tomato on the bottom bun, then your venison, beetroot relish and then finally your fried egg and put the lid on.
MacLean Fraser http://macleanfraser.com/

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Rarotonga, Cook Islands and Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Jeunes Chefs Competition

 IMG_0874

I was lucky enough to be invited to help judge the Chaine des Rotisseurs Jenues Chef competition held in Rarotonga this year held as part of their national Salon Culinaire. So reluctantly and with a heavy heart I boarded my Air NZ plane and left the nice cool windy, rainy climate of Wellington and headed into the sunny temperate climate that is the Cook Islands. As always when going to the islands, when you step off the plane you are hit by the heat. Now Rarotonga is not the hottest place in the world but you can expect temperature in the high 20′s with high humidity which makes it feel like it’s in the mid 30′s. And for someone who has well acclimatized to the Wellington “summer” this can be a bit of a shock. Pack your stubbies and singlets. IMG_0867

The Jeunes Chef competition itself is a global competion organised by the Chaine for young chefs who compete first in regionals before then competing in their national finals to see who will represent their country. The Cook Islands finals were held in conjunction with the Cook Islands Chef’s Association Salon Culinaire held at the local training institution. It has been over 11 years since I worked and lived in the Cook Islands and back then there was no formal hospitality training set up on the island with the only qualified labour coming from overseas so I am really happy to see how things have changed and progressed over the years through the efforts of many people including Sam Timoko and the Cook Islands Chefs Association. The competitors put our some good dishes in very trying conditions which were challenging even for us judges who had to only stand up for the 3 hour competition let alone pull finger and actually cook under pressure.

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I was booked into the compact Castaway resort on the eastern side of the island (it takes about 40mins there or there abouts to drive around the island at the 50km/hr speed limit) and you get decent value for the price your paying. The owners are the face of the business and are very friendly, helpful and I had a good stay with everything I could want. The air conditioning was most welcome! I met up with fellow chefs Jaqui Brown (Brick & Vines) and head judge Marc Soper (Wharekahau) at The Islander Hotel which is located right next to the airport. The beer is cheap and cold, the hospitality excellent and we were lucky enough to experience an island night there with a local food buffet and awesome show put on by one of the local dance troupes.  The Islander was also the location of our Chaine Gala dinner where myself, Marc, Jaqui, Tua and Phillip put on a course each.

The Islander Island night

The Islander Island night

 The Bailli Délégué (president) of the Cook Islands Chaine is Phillip Nordt, owner and chef at On the Beach (OTB) at Manuia Beach Resort so we were lucky enough to spend some time there before and after the competition. They have an infinity pool, a bar with cold drinks and some excellent food. Their Sous chef Tua was the winner of the Jenues Chef’s competition ( global young chef’s competition) and we had a most excellent dinner there so if you’re looking for somewhere to have a nice meal and in the area I would recommend popping over. 

Another thing you should do is go check out Captain Tama’s lagoon cruises. The guys are an absolute crack up and I can’t think of anything much more special and relaxing than sitting on a boat watching the sun go down.

Captain Tamas Cruises

Captain Tamas Cruises

For a bit of night life there’s Rehab bar and if you like loud music, cheap bourbon and want to challenge yourself to a local experience there’s the fun but Jungle bar. On the way home you can grab a chicken pocket from the food cart outside of Rehab Bar or stop at the food cart down past the markets and ask for a “Wet Cheese”, it’s a burger not on the menu and I’m not sure if it was a joke on the Pakehas or not but it hit the spot for a midnight snack!IMG_0925

 

 

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Venison Wellington with mushrooms and kumara mash

hunters kitchen spread

 

This is a good recipe for entertaining and an impressive way to cook venison. The kumara adds a buttery richness to the dish and the earthiness of the mushrooms compliments the flavour of the meat well. If you wanted to save time and did not want to use the pastry aspect of the dish you could simply grill the venison and add some cream and meat stock to the mushrooms for a simple mushroom sauce.

Venison Wellington Final

Venison Wellington with mushrooms and kumara mash
Serves 4
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Venison
600g venison back strap
2 sheets puff pastry
Splash of milk
Mushroom Duxelle
1/2 onion
250g mushrooms
3cl garlic
1/2tsp dried thyme or fresh
50g butter
1tsp red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
Kumara Mash
2-3 kumara
50g butter
Splash milk or cream
For the Mushroom
Finely dice the onion, mushrooms and garlic by pulsing them all together in a food processor. Place in a pot along with the butter and thyme and cook out on a low to moderate heat until everything has softened and the liquid has evaporated, about 15mins. Add the vinegar and cook for another 2mins. Season to taste with salt and pepper then set aside to cool.
For the Kumara mash
Peel the kumara and cut into even sized pieces. Starting in cold, salted water boil the kumara until nice and soft. Drain in a colander then return to the pot and cook over a low heat for 1 to 2 minutes to remove any excess water. Mash the kumara until nice and smooth. Melt the butter along with a little milk or cream and fold through the kumara mix. If the mash is too stiff add some cream or milk to thin it down and then season to taste with salt and white pepper.
For the Venison Wellington
Trim the venison back strap of any silver skin by inserting a sharp pointed knife (such as a boning knife) under one end of the silver skin then with the blade angled upward remove the silver skin off in strips cutting off as little meat as possible. Pat the meat dry with a kitchen towel if required and season with salt and pepper. In a very hot pan with a little oil, sear the back strap until nicely browned on each side but not at all cooked. Set aside.
Place the venison on a pastry sheet (you may need to cut your venison in half to fit depending on the size of your pastry sheets). Spoon some of the cold mushroom mix on top of the venison so the entire top of the meat is covered and then with one edge of the pastry brushed with milk so that it sticks, roll the venison and the mushroom together in the pastry and pinch the edges. Brush the pastry with milk.
To Serve
Bake the venison Wellington on an oven tray lined with grease proof paper in a 200C oven for 10-15mins for rare to medium rare depending on the thickness of your back strap. Cooking beyond medium rare will make your venison dry. Once cooked remove from the oven and poke a few small holes in the base of the pastry to allow any resting juices to escape and rest on an oven rack for 10 minutes before carving. Serve with some hot kumara mash and a green salad or seasonal veg along with Branston pickle if desired.
MacLean Fraser http://macleanfraser.com/
 

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Southern Fried Rabbit with Smoky Chilli Mayo

hunters kitchen spread

This recipe and is a home version of fast food using wild game. It’s one of my favourite ways to eat rabbit as it locks in the moisture and flavour so make sure you don’t skip the brining process as this is critical to ensuring a moist result. If you don’t have all the ingredients to make the brine you can use just salt and water and that is better than nothing. The smoked chilli mayo recipe uses smoke essence which is available from specialty shops or you can replace the chilli powder and tabasco with canned Chipotle chillies which will give the mayo a lightly smoky flavour.   

 Fried Rabbit

 

Southern Fried Rabbit with Smoky Chilli Mayo
Yields 24
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Cider brine
500ml apple cider
3lt Water
1/2C salt
3 star anise
4 bay leaves
4 sprigs thyme
2 rabbits (about 1kg each)
Smoky chilli mayo
4 yolks
1 whole egg
1tsp tabasco sauce
1 small garlic clove
Juice of 1 lemon
375ml canola oil
125ml olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/4tsp Chilli powder
Dash smoke essence
Rabbit coating
1/4C milk
2Tbs cayenne pepper
1Tbs paprika
1tsp ground black pepper
1tsp garlic powder
1C flour
1/4C corn flour
For the brine
Mix everything apart from the rabbit together and stir well to dissolve the salt. Take your skinned and gutted rabbit and using a sharp pointed knife remove any membrane and silver skin from the outside of the meat as this will go tough once cooked. Halve the now trimmed rabbit and cut each half through the bone into 6 pieces depending on how big you’d like them (I like to get 12 pieces out of every rabbit). Submerge the rabbit in the brine for about 12 hours or overnight.
For the mayo
Combine all ingredients except the oil and smoke essence in a food processor or blender. Slowly add the oil with the food processor running to emulsify the oil and create the creamy mayo. Add smoke essence to taste and more tabasco/chilli powder if more heat is desired. Add warm water at the end for consistency if the mayo is too thick.
For the rabbit coating
Combine in a large bowl all the ingredients except the milk and stir to mix all the spices evenly through the flour mix. Remove the rabbit from the brine and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Toss in the milk, shake off the excess and transfer to the flour mix. Toss the rabbit in the bowl of flour and leave for up to 2 hours making sure to give it a toss every now and again. This is to build up a good thick flour coating on the outside of the rabbit.
Fry in vegetable oil or lard at 160C for about 10mins (depending on the size of your rabbit pieces) or until golden brown and just cooked through. If you coating starts to get too dark before the middle of your rabbit is fully cooked you can remove the rabbit from the oil and finish it in an oven set to 150C for a few minutes until cooked through.
MacLean Fraser http://macleanfraser.com/
 

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Chipotle pulled pork burger with cucumber pickle

hunters kitchen spread

This recipe calls for pork shoulder which is a tougher secondary cut of meat and benefits from a slow, wet cooking method. You can get canned chipotle chilies from the supermarket and can serve the burger with a nice fresh coleslaw. Wild pork is great here, however any pork could be used but stick to a tough cut such as shoulder or belly.

 Pork Burger Fullsize

Chipotle pulled pork burger
Serves 6
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Total Time
4 hr 45 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Total Time
4 hr 45 min
Chipotle pulled pork
1.5kg (or there about) bone in pork shoulder
2 shallots (or 1 small onion)
6 cloves garlic
1Tbs smoked paprika
3Tbs brown sugar
100g can chipotle (use ½ to 1 whole can depending on how hot you want it)
250g can tomato paste
3Tbs red wine vinegar
1/2C water (use 1.5C if using an oven instead of a slow cooker)
1Tbs chopped rosemary (or dried herbs)
1Tbs salt
1/2tspn white pepper
Cucumber pickle
500g (about 2) cucumbers
1 onion
1/4C salt
1.5C white wine vinegar
3/4C sugar
1Tbs wholegrain mustard
1tspn turmeric
For the burger
Blend all the ingredients together in a blender or food processor and rub all over the pork. Place the pork along with any left-over marinade in your slow cooker and cook for about 8 hours or place in a roasting tray covered with tin foil and bake at 150 for 4-5hrs until tender and falling off the bone. If there is any liquid left then place in a pot and simmer until it thickens. Once cool enough to touch shred the meat and mix with any remaining cooked marinade and reduced cooking liquid.
For the pickle
Slice the cucumber and onion and toss with the salt in a bowl. Cover the cucumber salt mix with cold water and leave for an hour. Drain the salt water in a colander. Combine the remaining ingredients in pot and bring to boil. Pour the hot vinegar mix over the cucumber and onions then leave to cool. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month.
MacLean Fraser http://macleanfraser.com/

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Apple crumble

ne of the topics I am passionate about is food wastage. In an ideal world we would show respect to our food and have none of it go in the bin.

Recently I was able to team up with Love Food Hate Waste (https://lovefoodhatewaste.co.nz) as part of Wellington on a Plate and hold a cooking demonstration on how to use up some of the most commonly usable but thrown away household food items.

According to the Love Food Hate Waste website: “New Zealanders throw away 122,547 tonnes of food a year. That is equivalent to 213 jumbo jets of food that has to go somewhere to rot, instead of being eaten. All of this food is worth about $872 million each year. That amount of food could feed the population of Dunedin for two years!” That’s only in New Zealand, globally “one third of food produced globally is wasted; that is 1.3 billion tonnes of food that is never eaten.” That to me is just mental and we can all do (and should) do our part by reducing our waste as much as possible. Shared here are some of the recipes that use some of LFHW’s top ten chucked out food items that you can try at home.

Apple crumble
Serves 4
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Apple crumble
8-10 apples (can also substitute/mix with other fruit such as pears, rhubarb etc)
1/4C sugar
Water if required
5 Cardamom pods (optional)
Crumble topping
1C flour
125g butter, diced
1/2C sugar
1tsp mixed spice
For the apples
Peel, core and dice the apples. Add to a pot along with the sugar and a little water (and the cardamom if using). Cook on a low heat until the apples are soft and starting to break up. Depending on the variety of the apple they may require some water added if becoming too dry and starting to stick.
For the crumble topping
In a bowl mix together all the topping ingredients and crumble together with your hands until well combined.
To bake
In a baking dish spoon in the apple mix and top with the flour topping.
Bake at 170C for 30-45 mins or until nice and golden brown and bubbling.
MacLean Fraser http://macleanfraser.com/

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Pan fried fish on truffled mash, petit pois a la Francais, lemon beurre blanc

One of the topics I am passionate about is food wastage. In an ideal world we would show respect to our food and have none of it go in the bin.

Recently I was able to team up with Love Food Hate Waste (https://lovefoodhatewaste.co.nz) as part of Wellington on a Plate and hold a cooking demonstration on how to use up some of the most commonly usable but thrown away household food items.

According to the Love Food Hate Waste website: “New Zealanders throw away 122,547 tonnes of food a year. That is equivalent to 213 jumbo jets of food that has to go somewhere to rot, instead of being eaten. All of this food is worth about $872 million each year. That amount of food could feed the population of Dunedin for two years!” That’s only in New Zealand, globally “one third of food produced globally is wasted; that is 1.3 billion tonnes of food that is never eaten.” That to me is just mental and we can all do (and should) do our part by reducing our waste as much as possible. Shared here are some of the recipes that use some of LFHW’s top ten chucked out food items that you can try at home.

Pan fried fish on truffled mash, petit pois a la Francais, lemon beurre blanc
Serves 4
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Fish
700g Fish fillets
Beurre blanc
150ml White wine
2 Lemons juice/zest
¼ Onion
150g Butter
Salt and pepper
Potato mash
500g Potato
100g Butter
75ml Cream
20ml Truffle oil (optional)
Salt and white pepper
French style peas
200g Peas
½ Lettuce
1/2C Chicken stock
40g Butter
Salt and pepper
Chicken Stock
Left over chicken frame/bones
Vegetable offcuts and ends (carrot, onion, leek, celery, garlic)
Any herb stalks (thyme, rosemary, parsley)
Peppercorns (optional)
For the Beurre Blanc
Finely dice the onion and add to a small pot along with the white wine and the juice and zest of one lemon and simmer until reduced by ¾. Dice the cold butter and over a very low heat whisk onto the wine reduction piece by piece to emulsify. Season with salt and pepper and the juice from the remaining lemon if you want more of a lemon flavour.
For the potato mash
Peel and cut up the potatoes into even sized pieces so they cook at the same rate then place them in a pot of cold salted water and bring to the boil and cook until tender. In another pot heat the butter and milk together. Drain the potatoes and return to the pot, stirring over heat until they become fluffy. Mash with a potato masher or use a ricer or meuli. Fold in the hot cream butter mix and the truffle oil (if using) and season to taste.
For the peas
Boil the peas until cooked, add to a pan or pot with ¼ of the butter. Add the chicken stock and reduce by 2/3 then shake in the remaining cold diced butter to emulsify. Finely shred the lettuce and add to the pea mix to wilt and warm through. Season to taste.
For the chicken stock
In a pot place your left over chicken frame along with any vegetable off cuts or trimmings (and peppercorns) and cover with cold water. Bring to the simmer and leave to simmer for 4 hours. Pass through a sieve and you have chicken stock to use in any recipe you like such as soups, sauces, stews/curries, noodle broth etc.
MacLean Fraser http://macleanfraser.com/

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Roast chicken and spiced pumpkin w citrus slaw and croutons

One of the topics I am passionate about is food wastage. In an ideal world we would show respect to our food and have none of it go in the bin.

Recently I was able to team up with Love Food Hate Waste (https://lovefoodhatewaste.co.nz) as part of Wellington on a Plate and hold a cooking demonstration on how to use up some of the most commonly usable but thrown away household food items.

According to the Love Food Hate Waste website: “New Zealanders throw away 122,547 tonnes of food a year. That is equivalent to 213 jumbo jets of food that has to go somewhere to rot, instead of being eaten. All of this food is worth about $872 million each year. That amount of food could feed the population of Dunedin for two years!” That’s only in New Zealand, globally “one third of food produced globally is wasted; that is 1.3 billion tonnes of food that is never eaten.” That to me is just mental and we can all do (and should) do our part by reducing our waste as much as possible. Shared here are some of the recipes that use some of LFHW’s top ten chucked out food items that you can try at home.

Bolton Hotel Menu Tasting 30

Roast chicken and spiced pumpkin w citrus slaw and croutons
Serves 4
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
30 min
Chicken Salad
300g cooked chicken, shredded
200g pumpkin
¼ cabbage
1 carrot
½ onion
3 slices stale bread, diced
Citrus mayo
2 whole egg
500ml canola (or other neutral) oil
1 teaspon Dijon mustard
Salt, pepper, sugar
Juice of 3 citrus fruit ie grapefruit, lemon, limes, oranges
Spice mix
1tsp ground coriander
1tsp ground cumin
1/2tsp allspice
For the mayo
Reserve 1Tbs of the juiced citrus and place the rest in a pot and simmer until reduced by ¾. Using a stick blender or in a blender or food processor blend the whole eggs with the mustard and reserved Tbs of citrus juice until it becomes pale in appearance. Drizzle in the canola oil slowly to emulsify. Once all the oil is incorporated and the mayo is nice and thick fold in the citrus reduction and then season with a little salt and pepper and sugar (if required) to taste. If the mayo is too thick you can thin down with 1Tbs of hot water.
To make the salad
Dice the pumpkin, toss in a little oil and then toss with the spice mix. Season with salt and pepper. Roast on a baking tray at 180C until tender, about 15minutes. Cool. Cut the bread into cubes and toss in a little oil, season and bake in the oven until lightly browned and crispy. Chiffonade/shred the cabbage thinly, julienne/finely slice the onion (red or white onion ok) and grate the peeled carrot. Fold through enough of the citrus mayo so the slaw is nicely coated. Serve with the pumpkin, chicken and croutons.
MacLean Fraser http://macleanfraser.com/

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Croquetten, Dutch style crumbed chicken and cheese croquettes

One of the topics I am passionate about is food wastage. In an ideal world we would show respect to our food and have none of it go in the bin.

Recently I was able to team up with Love Food Hate Waste (https://lovefoodhatewaste.co.nz) as part of Wellington on a Plate and hold a cooking demonstration on how to use up some of the most commonly usable but thrown away household food items.

According to the Love Food Hate Waste website: “New Zealanders throw away 122,547 tonnes of food a year. That is equivalent to 213 jumbo jets of food that has to go somewhere to rot, instead of being eaten. All of this food is worth about $872 million each year. That amount of food could feed the population of Dunedin for two years!” That’s only in New Zealand, globally “one third of food produced globally is wasted; that is 1.3 billion tonnes of food that is never eaten.” That to me is just mental and we can all do (and should) do our part by reducing our waste as much as possible. Shared here are some of the recipes that use some of LFHW’s top ten chucked out food items that you can try at home.

 

Croquetten, Dutch style crumbed chicken and cheese croquettes
Serves 2
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
For the croquettes
500g cooked chicken
2Tbs Butter
4Tbs Flour
1 sprig thyme
2 bay leaves
1 clove
1/2C Milk
1/2C Chicken stock
Salt, pepper
2 eggs, separated
200g cheese
1Tbs Parsley
For the crumb
Reserved egg whites (2)
1/2C flour
1/2C breadcrumbs
To make
Heat the milk, chicken stock along with the thyme, bay leaves and clove. Melt the butter, add the flour and cook out until sandy. Strain the milk mix and pour onto the flour butter (roux) in batches, stirring until thickened. Add the cheese and stir until dissolved then add the chopped chicken and parsley, take off the heat and season with salt and pepper then stir in the egg yolks. Cool down on a tray and once cool make into balls and crumb by passing through the flour, then whisked egg whites and the breadcrumbs. Deep fry until golden brown at hot (170C).
MacLean Fraser http://macleanfraser.com/
 

 

 

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How to: Plucking a Duck, wax method

hunters kitchen spread

“Here is a technique that gets a pretty good result, about as close as you can get to looking like a store bought duck. Plucking a duck can be a pretty laborious job but this technique is pretty quick and easy and means you get to enjoy the whole bird and its crispy skin.”

 

You will need:

Paraffin Wax

A big pot to boil water

A bucket of cold water

 

Step 1:

Find a place where you don’t mind making a bit of a mess and get your knives sharpened and ready along with a decent sized chopping board sitting on a wet towel to stop it from moving round on you. One of the first things you will want to do is get your big pot on to boil and add your paraffin wax to it to melt. Apparently National brand candles are made of paraffin wax which is certified food grade.

 Step 1

Step 2:

Remove the wings.

 Step 2

Step 3:

Remove the wing and tail feathers. The easiest way is to pull these straight out, with the grain.

 Step 3

Step 4:

All the other feathers are easiest if pulled out against the grain. Don’t completely pluck the duck, what we want to do is leave a covering of the down feathers so we can remove them with the hot wax.

 Step 4

Step 4 part 2

Step 5:

Holding your semi plucked duck (guts still intact) by the head and feet, dip it slowly into a pot with the melted wax for a few seconds then transfer to a bucket of cold water. Leave the duck there for about 5 minutes in order for the wax to set rock hard.

 Step 5 part 1

Step 5 part 2

Step 6:

Now that the wax is hard and has stuck to the feathers you can start at the neck and carefully peel it off the duck, removing all the feathers in the process. Once your duck has all the feathers and wax removed you can go ahead and remove the head and feet. If there are any small down feathers left here and there they can be singed by a quick go with a blow torch.

 Step 6 part 1

Step 6 part 2

Step 6 part 3

Step 7:

To gut the bird remove the tail by cutting straight through just past where the bones stop. Reach into the cavity and pull out all the contents being sure to remove the lights (lungs) which are found at the neck end of the bird on either side of the backbone. Give it a good rinse inside and out with cold running water, inspect for any shot and pat it dry. Now it’s ready to cook. 

Step 7 part 1

 

Step 7 part 2

 

Step 7 part 3

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