Simple Grilled Duck

Simple Grilled Duck

By Rachel Bush

I have been hunting waterfowl since my college days in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and is the main reason I moved to North Dakota so many years ago. When I first started hunting ducks and geese it seemed liked all the recipes I found had an ingredient list a mile long and were designed to cover the flavor of the meat as opposed to highlight it. Over the years, I have found several great recipes that work well for my family and I, but this one is the simplest.


  • 6 plucked duck breast halves (skin on)
  • 6 large cloves of garlic
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper

This recipe works great for fresh duck, but don’t be afraid to use what you find in the freezer. I do not brine my ducks for this recipe since I usually select species that are milder flavored than others. Mallards, Wood Duck, Teal or Redhead are excellent choices for this recipe.

You will want to marinade the breast for at least 3 hours before placing on the grill. To prepare the marinade, peel and smash the garlic cloves, bruise the rosemary with the back of your chef’s knife and combine garlic, rosemary, duck and oil into a sealable bag. Place in the fridge for 3 hours.

Prepare your grill. Remove duck breast from sealable bag and apply salt and pepper generously to both sides. 

Once your grill has reached 450 degrees, you are ready to cook! Place the duck breast skin side down and cook for 5 minutes or until skin is crispy. Flip the breast and continue to cook, until you have reached medium rare – medium, another 5-6 minutes depending on the thickness of the breast.

Note: If you are cooking teal, these require a much shorter cooking time, 2 minutes per side is what has worked for me in the past.


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