To make wild duck, like Mallard, Shoveler (Spoonie), Pintail, Widgeon or Ringneck taste less gamey, I brine them overnight (or do the morning before cooking), in a solution of water, salt and sugar. Approximate amounts would be 8 cups of water, 1/4 cup table salt and 2 tablespoons sugar. You need enough water to fully cover the bird. Cut the amount in half if you are just doing one or two birds. You can put it all in a large glass dish, or in plastic bags, but if you use the bags, put them in a dish because they may leak. Warm a small amount of water using the microwave, then add the sugar and salt and stir to dissolve – then add the rest of the water. Pour the mixture over the birds. Let sit in the refrigerator over night or for 8 hours. Before cooking the meat, rinse in cool water to remove salt residue and pat dry.
You can look up brining and find a lot of different information. Brining can make the meat taste too salty for some. The amount I use (stated above) accommodates my husband’s tastes. He doesn’t like the food too salty. A saltier mixture will make the meat moister (or so the experts say), but my goal is not to make the meat moist, but to make it taste “cleaner” and less gamey. It may indeed add some moisture to it as well.
There is also the issue of which salt to use. I use regular ‘ol table salt. Remember, my whole outlook is keeping it uncomplicated, making it easy and ending up with something a family would eat.
Here is some information about salt I found at this web site:
Which Salt To Use
Kosher salt and table salt are the most common salts used in flavor brining. I use kosher salt most of the time because it dissolves quickly and it’s what most professional cooks use in their kitchens, but I also use table salt on occasion.
Sea salt can be used for flavor brining, but it tends to be quite expensive. If you have a cheap supply available, go for it; otherwise, stick to kosher salt or table salt.
Some people say that kosher salt tastes "cleaner" than table salt because it does not contain the anti-caking agents added to table salt. Some people prefer non-iodized table salt over iodized table salt, believing that potassium iodide creates an off-taste. However, these flavor differences melt away when salt is diluted in water.
In an article about salt in the September/October 2002 issue of Cook’s Illustrated magazine, taste testers felt that "all nine salts tasted pretty much the same" when dissolved in spring water and chicken stock, whether it was $0.36/pound iodized table salt, $0.66/pound kosher salt, or $36/pound Fleur de Sel de Camargue sea salt from France.
Salt Equivalent Measures
Table salt and kosher salt do not have the same saltiness in a flavor brine when measured by volume–but they do when measured by weight.
Table salt weighs about 10 ounces per cup, while kosher salt weighs 5-8 ounces per cup, depending on the brand. If using kosher salt in a brine, you must use more than a cup to achieve the same salt flavor you would get from a cup of table salt.