This is the best teal recipe I’ve ever tried—and it might be my favorite duck recipe, period. Yes, there are a lot of steps, and it’s time consuming, but all of the work is worth it once you taste the first spoonful of perfectly cooked duck, bacon, onions, and beans. Plus, the act of pouring a whole duck from a mason jar into a soup bowl is just about the coolest dinner presentation ever. This recipe comes from the cookbook Afield: A Chef’s Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish, by Jesse Griffiths, who’s shared recipes with F&S before. Next time you come home with a few teal, I cannot recommend enough that you try them in this recipe.
What You Will Need
4 whole teal, plucked and gutted
4 ounces dried cannellini or kidney beans, soaked overnight in water
12 ounces venison sausage, or other sausage
4 ounces bacon, diced
2 onions, sliced
4 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
12 garlic cloves, peeled
2 to 3 cups game bird stock, chicken stock, or water
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Special equipment need: 4 pint-size, wide-mouth Mason or canning jars
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
In a small pot over medium-high heat, place the beans, cover with 4 inches of cold water, and bring to a boil. Boil for 20 minutes, then strain and reserve the beans, discarding the water.
Season the teal with salt and pepper. Remove the sausage meat from casings. Stuff each teal with equal amounts of the sausage and set aside.
In a small pan over medium heat, cook the bacon until it is crisp and rendered, about 10 minutes. Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the vinegar and thyme, cook for 2 minutes, and set aside.
Place equal amounts of the onion mixture in each jar, followed by a stuffed teal. Add equal amounts of the beans and 3 garlic cloves to each jar. Ladle in as much stock as possible, leaving about a 1/2-inch space at the top. Place the lids on the jars and slightly tighten the screw bands.
Place the jars in a pan, add hot water to come halfway up the sides, and bake for 4 hours.
Carefully remove the jars from the oven. If serving later, cool unopened jars completely, then refrigerate up to 2 days. To reheat, place the jars in a pan and add hot water to come halfway up the sides. Simmer for 1 hour, or until the contents are bubbling.
To serve, let the hot jars cool slightly, and carefully open with a towel to hold the jar and lid. Serve from the jars or invert the teal into a bowl.
Recipe courtesy of Afield: A Chef’s Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish, by Jesse Griffiths (Welcome Books).