Like all good boys, I received a box of frozen game. Inside were three birds and a haunch of hare, all of which I will be enjoying for the food list. One of the birds still has its head on… so I’m going to leave that one until last.
Today I am breaking out two of the birds – a type of wild ducks known as teal (interesting fact, the colour teal is actually named after this duck). They’re basically the personal pizza of the duck world, although I probably could have eaten two of these considering the amount of meat on them.
In order to cook these teal I followed the steps from Simple Recipes with pearl barley as the side rather than the suggested wild rice. As much as I like wild rice, it isn’t the easiest grain to source on its own. Thinking on it, the teal probably should have had some sort of side vegetable… oh well.
Okay so this picture is pretty beige. It would have probably been better if I had taken the picture before adding the gravy. I guess the pride of making my own gravy from the teal drippings (the first time I’ve made a gravy from something other than granules) took over my need to get a decent picture.
Teal is definitely a bird that I would love to make again. The meat is brown on the outside giving way to a deep red on the inside (which is pretty standard for a lot of game). In terms of taste it is somewhere between a duck and an ostrich, in that you had the distinct slightly gamey taste of duck with the beef-steak like qualities of ostrich meat.
One thing I really appreciated about these little birds is that they are small enough to eat by hand. After a while of struggling with a knife and fork I just went caveman on the carcass and enjoyed my meal more for doing so.