Wild Duck Poppers

These snappy morsels are served skewered on toothpicks and make a fine introduction to the evening’s festivities. Adapted from Dennis Cakebread’s recipe.

Wine recommendations: Duck works well with everything from sparkling wine and off-dry whites to full-bodied Cabernets and Merlots. Why not try the poppers with their inventor’s wine, the Cakebread 1999 Merlot? Hugel’s 2000 Cuvée Les Amours Pinot Blanc from Alsace is a great predinner white-wine choice.

  • 2 wild duck breasts (or 1 domestic duck breast) sliced into 2-inch rounds, 1/4-inch thick
  • 1/2 cup tamari or soy sauce
  • 5 slices bacon (about 1/2 pound)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 15 to 20 toothpicks

In a small bowl, marinate the duck breast in soy sauce for 30 minutes. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over high heat until it is cooked but still supple. (If it is too crisp, it will break on the toothpicks.) Drain the bacon on a paper towel and set aside.

Remove bacon grease from the skillet, and return skillet to the stovetop heat. Using the 3 tablespoons water, break up any solids remaining on the surface of the pan and add the duck breast pieces. Cook them on both sides for 1 to 2 minutes. (They should be eaten rare.)

Cut the bacon into 2-inch lengths. Pierce one or two pieces of duck breast with a toothpick. Then add a piece of bacon to the mini-duck skewer. Arrange the duck poppers on a serving plate and sprinkle liberally with freshly ground black pepper.

Published on July 1, 2010
About the Author
Dylan Garret

The latest wine reviews, trends and recipes plus special offers on wine storage and accessories