Saturday, November 30, 2013

Review: Duck, Duck, Goose by Hank Shaw

Review by Jen.

Photography (c) 2013 by Holly A. Heyser
Duck, Duck, Goose. Hank Shaw.
New York: Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc., 2013. 240 pp. 

Buy it here: Amazon.com

When it comes to cooking wild game, few works are as impressive as Hank Shaw's. Even if you've never heard of him before (and how could you not?), a passing glance at Shaw's latest book Duck, Duck, Goose will tell you exactly that. Featuring Holly A. Heyser's mouthwatering photography on the cover and throughout, Duck, Duck, Goose promises hunters and cooks "the ultimate guide to cooking waterfowl, both farmed and wild." 

* * *

  
I've seen my fair share of wild game cookbooks since we've started blogging. Rick has a ton of them, collecting dust on the shelves or sitting in cardboard boxes inside our garage. They're there because we don't use them, kept as novelties and little more. The reasons were usually the same: overused recipes that are still being printed over and over again; unappetizing photography that looks like it was done in the 70s, or lack of it; incomplete or overwhelming explanations of the basics; poor writing; or just plain ol' dull. 

But where others have failed, Duck, Duck, Goose shines. Shaw's clear and upbeat writing, Heyser's top-notch photography, the book's sharp layout and design, and not to mention all the mouthwatering recipes that we actually want to try-- these are all the things that set Duck, Duck, Goose apart from other wild game cookbooks. They are the reasons why this book will stay in our kitchen, and not lost somewhere in a box. In Rick's words, "It's the most complete cookbook I've ever seen."

Photography (c) 2013 by Holly A. Heyser
Duck, Duck, Goose is broken up into 5 sections: "Basics," "Whole Birds," "Pieces," Extras," and "Stock, Glace, and Consomme." 

The "Basics" will cover what most people will want to know about cooking waterfowl-- the differences between domestic and wild, information on the different breeds, how to break down with clear illustrations, field care, hanging, plucking and wine and beer pairings.

But the recipes sections are where you'll have most fun.  I always believed that a good cookbook should not only offer fantastic recipes-- a given, but it should also teach. Before every recipe is an introduction written by Shaw to reveal tips and tricks to make that specific dish, in addition to valuable explanations as to why certain recipes are prepared certain ways. The book is also sprinkled with helpful sidebars and notes throughout to further wet your curiosity on cooking waterfowl. 

Through great variety, Shaw shows the versatility of waterfowl. Featuring both domestic and international dishes such as Roast Wild Duck with Fried Hominy, Duck Bulgogi, Coot or Duck Risotto, Duck Chili, Thai Duck Curry, English Duck Pie, German Style Goose Meatballs, Buffalo Duck Wings, Duck Egg Pasta and an assortment of charcuterie how-to's, there is something for everyone in Shaw's new cookbook. Roasted, grilled, smoked or barbecued-- you name it, Shaw's covered it. 

(c) 2013 by Holly A. Heyser
And although written from a hunter's perspective, Shaw's recipes and kitchen virtues are easily transferable between domestic and wild birds, between hunter and non-hunter.

Clean, sophisticated, yet easy to follow and understand, Duck, Duck, Goose will quickly become any waterfowl enthusiast's go-to in the kitchen. Shaw's cookbook receives 5 stars from us! As for me, I always get hungry whenever I look at it. 

Duck, Duck, Goose by Hank Shaw would make a fantastic gift for all the waterfowl hunters in your life this holiday season. Buy it here: Amazon.com

 Check out Hank's blog Hunter Angler Gardner Cook at http://honest-food.net/

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Rick Has Arrived in Nebraska!

Post by Jen

Photo courtesy of Mark Davis, Omaha World-Herald.*
I am happy to announce that Rick has finally arrived in Nebraska, for good! He's been away for too long, 10 months to be more exact. We've been cooking separately, spending time in the outdoors separately, and eating too many meals alone. All that has come to an end. 

While we get him settled in, we thank all of you for being so patient. There is still very much unpacking to do, which leaves little time for dreaming about wild game recipes let alone cooking them. Please hang in there with us! There will be more great things to come as we both discover the bounties that our new home in northeast Nebraska has to offer us. 

*Photo taken during Pheasants Forever Rooster Road Trip stop in Nebraska on 10/30/2013.
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