THE WILD CHEF
If you aren’t already saving the hearts from your duck limits, this “MeatEater” recipe will make you rethink that
Steven Rinella shares his recipes for skewered and grilled duck hearts. By Jonathan Miles
ou’re depriving Y yourself,” writes Steven Rinella, “if you’re not retaining giblets from your waterfowl and upland birds.” In his new book, The MeatEater Fish and Game Cookbook, the TV host, podcaster, and outdoorsman deftly shows you a cure for that deprivation with this recipe. The dish shines with just about any heart—from geese and turkeys to elk and deer. Combine the vinegar, oil, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, and garlic in a wide shallow bowl. Transfer half of the marinade to a Ziploc bag, add the duck hearts, toss around to coat, then marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours.
If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes to prevent them from burning.
Make the pesto: Put the walnuts and garlic in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the parsley, arugula, mint, and lemon zest, and process until coarsely chopped. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a steady stream. Add the cheese, lemon juice, and salt and pepper, and pulse until just combined.
Heat a grill on high heat. Gently toss the grapes in the bowl of reserved marinade to coat. Sprinkle the grapes with salt and pepper, then grill, covered, turning occasionally, until slightly charred in spots, about 5 minutes. Return to the bowl of marinade until ready to serve.
Remove the duck hearts from the marinade, place them on skewers, then sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Grill the hearts, covered, until desired doneness—4 to 5 minutes for medium rare—turning halfway through. Serve the hearts with the grapes, baguette slices, and walnut and mint pesto. Serves 2
Hearts of Gold Marinate the hearts in vinegar, olive oil, thyme, garlic, and bay leaves.