Yes, bacon traditionally comes from a pig, but you’ve heard of turkey bacon and soy bacon … why not duck bacon? The first time I made ground jerky, it occurred to me that it looked just like bacon. So into the skillet it went.

Recipe: Duck Bacon

duck bacon jerky

It’s not quite like pork, but duck bacon is way healthier. Photo: Tiffany Haugen

To make your own duck bacon, mix ground duck with desired seasonings or as directed in the duck-jerky recipe (below). Portion out several raw “bacon” strips and par-freeze on greased baking sheets. Remove from freezer, vacuum seal in a single layer or lay between sheets of plastic wrap. These will be ready to cook right from the refrigerator or freezer.

This is a healthy breakfast alternative to real bacon. It’s low in fat and free of nitrates and preservatives.

When ready to cook, simply heat peanut, olive or coconut oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Fry 1 to 2 minutes per side.

 

Ground Duck Jerky

Traditionally, jerky is made from strips cut with the grain or round pieces cut cross-grain. Jerky made from ground meat is another method. Ground-meat jerky can be made by hand by rolling out the meat with a rolling pin and slicing it into desired portions. But the job is made easy with a jerky gun, which operates much like a caulking gun. With this method, ground meat is stuffed into a cylinder and pressed out into perfect, uniform strips directly onto smoker or oven racks.

Related: 5 Weird Wild Game Meats and How to Cook Them

Jerky can be cooked in a smoker, oven or food dehydrator. The key is to avoid drying out the meat by overcooking it. To be properly cooked, the meat must reach 165 degrees .

2 pounds ground duck

2 teaspoons canning salt

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon liquid smoke

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon granulated/powdered garlic

Steps:

  1. Skin ducks and remove all breast, leg and thigh meat cleanly from bones, tendons and ligaments.
  2. Grind ducks on finest grinder plate or pulse in a food processor until ground. Add remaining ingredients and stir well.
  3. Refrigerate 12 to 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. Set up jerky gun and grease racks with cooking spray.
  5. Place cold meat in jerky gun and squeeze out strips to desired length. It’s helpful to use the spine of a knife to stop the flow of meat from the end of the jerky gun.
  6. Place racks in a pre-heated 165- to 170 degrees oven or smoker for 45 minutes.
  7. Remove racks, flip jerky strips and return to the oven or smoker for an additional 45 minutes or until jerky reaches desired doneness/texture. When making jerky in a food dehydrator, follow manufacturer’s instructions for drying meat.
  8. Refrigerate or vacuum seal and freeze jerky for long-term storage.

 

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