Jerky is a favorite snack in our house and we make it out of nearly every type of wild game we bring home. From big game like elk and deer to smaller critters like ducks and geese, making jerky is a great way to preserve meat. Not only will making jerky cut down on freezer space but it makes a nutrient dense snack to eat on the go.
To save time we usually skin our waterfowl and separate the breast meat from the legs and thighs. Into one large resealable bag go the breasts and in another go the rest of the bird. Don’t forget to collect the fat from ducks and geese as once rendered down makes a wonderful, healthy cooking oil for stir-fry or fried potatoes.
Leg, thigh and back meat on the bones always goes in the slow cooker or Dutch oven. Breast meat is much better for hot and fast cooking like fajitas or for smoking up as jerky. Cut breasts into equal sizes, butterflying the smallest breast for a bite sized piece. Make sure meat is all the same thickness. Another option is to grind the breast meat for pressed jerky, in the Smokehouse Jerky Gun.
2-3 pounds duck and/or goose breasts, sliced for jerky
3 cups apple juice
1 cup teriyaki sauce
1/4 cup non-iodized salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
In a large ceramic or glass bowl, mix all brine ingredients with a wire whisk until ingredients are dissolved. Add meat, mix thoroughly, and put a plate on top to be sure all meat remains submerged. Soak 8-10 hours, refrigerated, stirring occasionally.
Drain brine and remove meat. Do not rinse meat. If additional flavor is desired, sprinkle pepper or other seasonings (salt-free only) on meat at this time. (Meat can also be ground for the jerky gun at this time.)
Place on Little Chief racks and let air-dry for up to 1 hour or pat dry. Plug in Little Chief, fill the pan with Smokehouse Wood Chips and close smoker. On colder days, use the Insulation Blanket to reduce smoke time. Once chips have stopped smoking, add a second pan full of chips.
Article and photos by Tiffany Haugen. For a copy of Tiffany’s book, Grill It! Plank It! Wrap It! Smoke It!, go to www.tiffanyhaugen.com.