I originally found this recipe in a magazine, tried it and found it to be very good and fairly easy. I looked it up online and found it as follows. The only change I made was that I brined the breasts over-night, then rinsed, pounded them with a meat mallet , sprinkled with Adolf’s tenderizer and poked with a multi-tined fork. You don’t need to do this, but the meat is really tasty and tender if you do, and a bit chewy if you don’t, but still tasty.

Cooking: Savory Waterfowl Stew


By Scott Leysath

A warm fire, dry clothes, and a hot bowl of hearty stew is a just reward after a cold, wet day of slogging through a wetland obstacle course. No need to wait for the simmering chunks of duck and goose breasts to get spoon tender. This stew was prepared a day ahead. And of course it’s always better the next day. Since it looks like the cold weather is not likely to change any time soon, make a double batch that you can load into a thermos and share with your hunting partners.


By definition, a stew is slowly cooked at lower temperatures than a soup. It’s thicker, richer, and should support an upright fork. Slow cooking in liquid transforms lean, dense waterfowl meat into tender morsels that have absorbed the flavor of the surrounding broth. It’s stick-to-your-ribs comfort chow that pairs well with a glass of red wine or a frosty cold beer and the inevitable nap. Why fight it? Curl up on the couch and dream of huge flights of mallards with their feet down.

Preparation Time: 20–25 minutes

Marinating Time: 1–2 hours

Cooking Time: 20 minutes browning, plus 2–3 hours simmering

Serves: 8–10


• 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

• 6 cups skinless duck and/or goose breast fillets, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

• 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

• 1 tablespoon garlic powder

• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

• 8 cups beef broth or game stock

• 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, with liquid

• 1/2 cup pearled barley (uncooked)

• 2 cups celery, roughly chopped

• 2 cups carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

• 8–10 whole peeled garlic cloves

• 3 tablespoons tomato paste

• 2 cups fresh green beans, stem ends removed, cut into 1-inch pieces

• 1 1/2 cups whole pearl onions, skins removed

• Salt to taste


1. In a bowl, combine first 5 ingredients and toss well to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. Heat a large stockpot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add meat and marinade, and brown meat evenly. Add stock and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Add barley, celery, carrots, and garlic cloves and simmer for 25 minutes more.

3. Stir in tomato paste, add green beans and onions, and cook for 10 minutes. Add salt and additional pepper to taste.

Serve in a big bowl with a nice piece of buttered chunky bread. You will really want the bread to sop up the broth. It’s yummy!!