Matt Moore, Southern Eats & Drinks Expert
If you don’t have your butt in the bleachers cheering on your favorite team on Saturdays during the fall, then you better have your butt in a blind because ‘tis the season! Time to wake up early (maybe slightly foggy from a few too many pours of Dixie Southern Vodka from the night before) to get to calling the birds, running the dogs, and dodging the shot falling from the sky.
You guessed it—fall football and bird hunting go hand-in-hand. Play your cards right in the early morning, and you’ll have some delicious game bird to enjoy for game time.
What I love most about hunting waterfowl is the communal nature of it, just like a good cocktail hour. You see, typically you’re not left alone to sit in a stand all morning, rather, you take comfort with a partner or two, taking in the morning chill while anticipation mounts. Good things come to those who wait—and hide.
When the birds traverse through the sky, so do the sticks that make thunder. A lucky shot means an unlucky bird pirouettes to the ground to be picked up with the gentle-mouthed cradle of man’s best friend.
What’s also your best friend, when it comes time for the plucking and the cleaning, is a Dixie Vodka Slanted Porch (poured with a heavy hand, if you’re like me). And if you don’t have access to a front porch to enjoy it on, a tailgate will do—just try not to get too slanted!
An evening spent at camp after a good hunt is hard to beat. Camaraderie, cocktails, and good food are all required (and encouraged) to carry on late into the evening, no matter the day’s call time. And once you’ve tallied up your catches for the trip, you might be looking for some inspiration on how to prepare said duck, and I’ve got just the recipe.
I’ve paired a Dixie Slanted Porch with one of my favorite recipes (below), served over Carolina Gold rice from the low country that’s a hearty meal for the evening and morning ahead. Make sure to cook the duck just to medium rare so the fresh meat will remain juicy and flavorful, with plenty of that good crispy skin for just the right texture.
Shoot ‘em straight!
- 1.5 oz. Dixie Southern Vodka
- 0.5 oz. sour mix or lemonade
- Sweet tea
- 1 lemon slice
- Sprig of mint
Fill pint glass with ice. Add Dixie Southern Vodka and sour mix or lemonade. Top with sweet tea, and garnish with lemon wheel and a sprig of mint.
Pan-Seared Wild Duck Breasts Over Carolina Gold Stir Fry
- 2 duck breasts, trimmed and at room temperature
- 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
- Fresh cracked pepper
- 1/4 cup sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup onion, diced
- 1/4 cup carrot, diced
- 1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 cup asparagus, sliced
- 1/4 cup broccoli florets
- 2 cups cooked Carolina Gold rice, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- Soy sauce, to taste
- Green onions, sliced (garnish)
At least one hour before cooking, liberally season duck breasts with fresh cracked pepper and douse with teriyaki sauce; set aside at room temperature. Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat, and sear duck breasts on each side for 2 – 3 minutes, or until medium rare. Remove and allow to rest while finishing the stir fry. Meanwhile, in a wok over high heat, add oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes; sauté 30 seconds and be careful not to brown the garlic. Add the remaining vegetables and cook until just tender. Add rice and eggs, stirring until eggs are just scrambled, and then remove from heat. Add soy sauce to taste. Begin plating by placing a generous portion of the stir fry onto the center of each plate. Slice duck breasts on the bias, every half inch or so, and place on top of the stir fry. Garnish with sliced green onions and serve.