Duck in the Mud

"You’re out hunting and camping, and you got yourself a duck the day before. Great! Here’s what to do with it the next morning. From “The Alaskan Camp Cook” by Kenneth Hughes in Haines, Alaska."
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:
6hrs 10mins


  • 1 fresh duck, cleaned but feathers not removed
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 apple
  • 1 onion
  • clay, mud


  • Make your breakfast campfire nice and hot. You have, of course, built your fire in a safe, deepish hollow. Get the clay mud from nearby (loam or sand doesn’t work) and have it ready. Cook and eat your breakfast. Wash your hands.
  • You’ve already cleaned your duck, getting rid of the offal, so that’s done. Wipe the inside out well with a clean cloth, first, then do the outside, too (you don’t want stuff in your food).
  • Rub the inside of the duck thoroughly with salt and a bit of pepper.
  • Clean the apple and onion. Stuff them both inside the duck’s cavity.
  • Fold the feathers to cover all the openings in the duck, then plaster the entire bird with the clay mud until it's about 1 inch thick.
  • Place the duck in the ashes in the campfire pit and cover it well with some coals and a generous amount of wood (but don’t get carried away).
  • Make sure the campfire is safely away from everything flammable, safely banked. (If you have someone staying back at camp, that works, too.) Then go fishing or hunting for the day.
  • When you come back for dinner, dig the duck out of the ashes (it should still be hot) and break off the hardened clay. The feathers will come off with the mud.
  • Pull off any remaining feathers, and eat your delicious duck!

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I'm from Alaska, a Tlingit (prounounced "klingit") native American and Norwegian. I love food! If I could live on the ocean, I would. Fishing is where I find peace. My name is Darrell but my nephew calls me "Uncle Dobo" and these days many family members do, too. Someday I hope my sisters will have RecipeZaar accounts, too, so they can share their recipes with all our family members more easily. :) I'm good friends with <a href="">Julesong</a> and her husband <a href="">Steingrim</a>, and they're great cooks. They cook a lot more "ethnic" food than I'm used to - I'm more a meat and potatoes kind of guy - but I'm coming to like some of the food styles they eat a lot. My nephew, Julesong, and myself are collecting native Alaskan recipes these days, so you'll soon be seeing some of them appear in my list. Julesong types them up for us (and maintains my Zaar account for me). The ingredients will probably be unusual for most Americans, but I think it's important to collect the information about our Native Alaskan American heritage and share it with others. My nephew Jared collected some of them from family members while visiting Anchorage.
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