Those aren't ducks...they're COOTS! But then, you knew that .
I love to hunt, but most things we hunt don't taste all that good to me. Doves, ducks, geese, and deer taste a lot like liver to me. I've tried cooking it rare, I've tried cooking it to well-done. Liver! I've heard snow geese called "flying liver". Quite appropos (sp?). I've always like deer jerky. Pan-fried deer comes out well many times. Deer chili comes out well 90% of the time. And by that I mean not only I like it, but other people like it. I tried the duck jalapeno popper-wrapped-in-bacon thing, and like they say, you could wrap doodoo in bacon, and it will taste good. I like it, and so do most. A friend of mine likes to smoke ducks and geese after marinating it in a maple-syrup-based concoction, and it tastes good.
But by far and away, the best way I've found to cook any wild game is.....
I took the breasts from some coots, ducks, and geese, and threw them in a pot. For a real test, I put in the gizzards, hearts, and necks, too. I figured if gumbo could make those nasty parts taste good, it can make anything taste good. So I covered it with water, added salt, cayenne pepper, an onion, garlic, and other spices, brought it to a boil, and then simmered it overnight to make the stock. The next morning, I put in the rest of my ingredients (mostly gathered from the various recipes posted here on RTF), and simmered it all day. That evening, I took that pot, and served it to a group of city boys, and didn't tell them what it was until after they had tasted it. The consensus was 1. it tasted good! and 2. it tasted like beef! You can't tell a coot breast from a goose gizzard from a teal breast by the time you're done.
When I like it, and can get people who "don't like wild game" to say "it's good!" and mean it, I consider that a success.
So for all of you coot-haters, I challenge you to shoot a strap of 'em (limit in California is 25!!! but I haven't take that many in one day yet), and make some stock out of 'em, and cook up a big pot of gumbo. I dare you to prove me wrong!
I'd heard so much about how nasty coots ("poule d'eau" here) are that I was flat amazed when Cajun friends showed me different. Now, I'd not want to eat any duck prepared by someone who can't make coot tasty. When I cook poule d'eau, it's usually just sauteed in butter with nothing more than a dash of Lawry's and eaten while still pink in the middle. Complicated stuff, that.