Make use of the HLTs to form these delicious waterfowl appetizers
How many waterfowlers, bird hunters in general, do you know that just “breast them out”? Maybe you are one of them. Well, this recipe will definitely change a hunter’s desire. It’s a simple recipe and utilizes more of the birds you bag each year. We as hunters need to do a better job of utilizing the game we harvest. Respecting the animal, by using as much as possible, when possible. I’m not saying you always need to keep legs and thighs, hearts, livers, and even gizzards of every single bird, however, making a conscious effort will make you a better conservationist, hunter, and likely give you something more to eat than just bacon wrapped *insert game bird of choice here*.
Personally, I like to eat hearts and livers, especially from the birds I harvest each year, and I came up with the recipe by happenstance. When I process my birds, I always place the hearts and livers in water to soak. I pull off the tenders as well but place them in their own pile. I prefer to remove the tenders from the breast when grilling or searing because it allows the breast to cook more evenly. I thought, how can I take advantage of all 3 components together. So, I minced it all up and made it into a patty, dredged it, and fried it. Simple and awesome! I hope you give this recipe a try. Its super easy and will turn even the biggest skeptic, into a drooling Labrador begging at your feet once these sliders hit the table!
This recipe is based on complete “sets” from each bird. 1 heart, 1 liver, and 2 tenders. The heart adds more meat to the slider and the liver is the binder that holds it together. More birds? Adjust accordingly. Mixed Bag? Feel free to mix ducks and geese together.
Waterfowl “HLT” SlidersJohn Wallace
- 3 goose hearts or 4-6 duck hearts
- 3 goose livers or 4-6 duck livers
- 6 goose tenders or 8-12 duck tenders
- 1 tbsp Cavender's Greek seasoning
- ½ cup flour
- ½ cup Italian breadcrumbs
- ½ tsp salt
- Canola oil
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- 1 onion
- Slider buns
- When processing your ducks pull hearts and livers (careful not to keep/break the dark green sack attached to it) and place them in water, add a little salt if desired. Change out water as needed to flush most, if not all the blood. This may take a day or 2 in the fridge (an hour or so would be enough if at duck camp).
- Once drained, pat them dry with a paper towel (drier the better). Using a knife, remove the tendon from the tender (this is key).
- Mince all three components together.
- Add Cavender’s Greek Seasoning to the mixture and fold it in with your knife to incorporate.
- Let the mixture sit for 10-20 mins allowing the flavor to come together.
- Mix your flour, breadcrumbs, and salt in a dish.
- Form the mixture into slider size patties (it will be sticky).
- Place patty into the flour mixture and cover well.
- Preheat skillet medium-high heat, once to temp, add canola oil, enough to cover bottom with approx. ¼ inch. Allow oil to come up to temp (~375deg).
- Drop patties into pan.
- Keep an eye on heat, reducing to medium if the breading shows signs of burning. Brown on each side (~2mins a side, cooking through, but not over doing it).
- Serve immediately. Best with plenty of sliced white onion and Sriracha mayo!