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Puddler Duck & Portabella Mushroom Ravioli

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The Duck Hunt

It was still dark that early morning when I packed up my 7-year-old daughter with plenty of warm layers of clothing and snacks in my pickup truck and drove us out into the crisp cold air that carried the promise of a successful duck hunt. I drove about an hour west of Fargo, North Dakota to prairie pothole country where the ducks are always plentiful in October.

As we set up our blind along the shore of a small slough, my daughter Lucia and I exchanged stories and jokes as our excitement grew. The sounds of birds splashing and talking to each other echoed through the cattails. Lucia offered words of encouragement while I set out a dozen gadwall floaters and a pair of Mojo Mallard Spinning Wing Decoys. “We’re gonna get a lot of ducks today, dad!”

As the sun began to rise, the first ducks flew overhead, and I readied my shotgun while Lucia held her breath. I felt my heart racing as I aimed at the first bird, trying desperately to lead it just right, and squeezed the trigger. The shot rang out across the water, and the bird fell from the sky, its feathers fluttering in the breeze. “You did it! Nice job, dad!”

With each passing minute, waves of gadwalls and teal descended upon us like a relentless Air Force determined to land on the “X” just 15 yards in front of our blind. By 7:45am I was wading through the cold water and mud retrieving our entire daily bag limit of birds – five gadwalls, one shoveler, and two bonus blue-winged teal.

Lucia and I spent the next 20 minutes sitting next to each other eating Goldfish crackers while watching the emerging sunrise bathe us in its warm light. Then I quickly gathered up our gear as she sat and petted each of the bird’s feathers, commenting on how sticky the blood was on her fingertips. I felt an immense sense of pride being a father who is raising a daughter who loves the outdoors as much as I do. The thrill of the chase, the camaraderie of a father/daughter duck hunt, and the satisfaction of bringing home a bounty of ducks made for a memorable experience.

As we buckled our seat belts for the drive back home, I reached my hand back to Lucia and offered my hand to hers. “Thanks for getting up early and coming with me today.”

“You’re welcome,” she replied. And after a few second pause, “I love you, dad.”

“I love you, too,” I answered tearfully as I put the truck in gear to drive away from yet another magical and exhilarating adventure of a duck hunt in North Dakota.

About the Recipe

Looking for a mouth-watering recipe that will impress your dinner guests that may want to try wild game for the first time? Look no further than this delectable duck and portabella mushroom ravioli dish! With tender duck meat, earthy portabella mushrooms, and perfectly cooked store-bought pasta, this recipe is sure to be a hit at your next dinner party or when you want to simply treat yourself to a restaurant-quality meal at home that takes just 30 minutes from start to finish. Whether you are a seasoned home cook or just starting out in the kitchen, this recipe is easy to follow and produces a truly delicious result. So why not give it a try and wow your friends and family with this indulgent and flavorful wild game dish!

Want to learn more about cooking ducks and geese? Check out this article!

Serves: 4

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes


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Puddler Duck & Portabella Mushroom Ravioli

0 from 0 votes
Recipe by Jeff Benda Cuisine: American, ItalianDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

15

minutes
Cook Mode

Keep the screen of your device on

Ingredients

  • 12 oz boneless, skinless duck breasts (about 4 gadwalls or similar-sized ducks)

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Harvesting Nature Waterfowl Blend seasoning (divided)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil + more for drizzling

  • 8 oz Portabella mushrooms

  • 1 lb package of store-bought frozen ravioli

  • 3 tablespoons butter (divided)

  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Preparation

  • Place the duck breasts on a cutting board and tenderize using a Jaccard meat tenderizer. Pat them dry with paper towels.
  • Season the duck breasts with 2 teaspoons of the Harvesting Nature Waterfowl Blend, reserving the other 1/2 teaspoon for later. Let the duck breasts sit out on the cutting board at room temperature for about 10 minutes. This will help them cook more evenly.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, brush the caps of each mushroom with a clean sponge, then slice them about 1/4-inch thick. Heat the olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the ravioli to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions (about 5 minutes). Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water, then drain gently.
  • While the pasta is cooking, add the duck breasts to the cast-iron skillet with the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes. I like my duck medium-rare (130 degrees F). Transfer the duck and mushrooms to a cutting board and let the duck breasts rest while you cook the spinach.
  • In the same cast-iron skillet, add 1 Tablespoon of the butter, the spinach, and 1/4 teaspoon of Harvesting Nature Waterfowl Blend. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often, until spinach is wilted.
  • Slice the duck breasts thin into bite-sized pieces.
  • Now combine the reserved 1/4 cup of water, the remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter, and the lemon juice to the cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ravioli, mushrooms, and sliced duck and toss everything together.
  • Divide the mixture among shallow bowls making sure everyone gets an even amount of each ingredient. Sprinkle each dish with some of the Parmesan cheese and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of Harvesting Nature Waterfowl Blend. Drizzle a little olive oil over each and serve immediately.

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Jeff Benda

Cooking gives me a creative outlet to transform wild game and bring it into traditional recipes from around the world to help expand people's perceptions. My goal is to celebrate local fish and wild game and provide achievable, bright recipes designed to build confidence for new cooks, and inspire everyone to elevate their cooking. I hope that by sharing and celebrating the food I create with the fish and wild game I harvest, I can highlight the great contribution so many hunters and anglers have made to conservation in this country, and reflect the freedom we have to enjoy America's great outdoors.

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