Today I got to light up my new Traeger grill for the first time! This thing is amazing. Luckily for me, the delivery of my Traeger coincided with a delivery of two freshly shot wild mallard ducks and two pheasants: a gift from my neighbour. After completing the rather tedious chore of preparing them, I mixed up a simple tandoori marinade and rubbed it deep into the flesh of the birds. You can get away with marinating the game for as few as three hours but I let mine soak it up overnight.
The result? This was tandoori at its best. The smoky flavour of that the wood pellets used to fire the Traeger gave the meat a delicious flavour that really complimented the the marinated ducks and pheasant well. If you don’t have a Traeger, you could still make this recipe in a conventional oven or over indirect heat on the BBQ you have. I chose to use Traeger’s Big Game pellets which are a combination of hickory, red and white oak and rosemary. Talk about gorgeous.
Traeger barbecues offer a no-fuss way of achieving delicious, smoky BBQ without all the work. You just need to plug them in, allow the pellets to start burning and then adjust the temperature for whatever you happen to be cooking. I am going to be using mine year round!
The most difficult part of this recipe for me was feathering, skinning and cleaning the birds. I suggest asking your butcher to do that for you. It’s worth every penny.
International & UK Orders
- 4 x wild ducks, pheasant - feathered and skinned
- Juice of two lemons
- 2 tablespoons garlic and ginger paste
- 2 Tablespoons tandoori masala (homemade or shop bought)
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 200g Plain Greek yoghurt - whisked
- Lemon wedges or slices to serve
- Make shallow incisions in the flesh of the ducks and peasants.
- Place the game birds in a large bowl and drizzle with the lemon juice. Then add the garlic and ginger paste and rub it all into the flesh.
- Season with about ½ teaspoon salt and then rub the tandoori masala into the flesh as well, getting it right into the incisions.
- Rub in the yogurt so that it covers the flesh and allow to marinate for three hours or overnight.
- When ready to cook, pre-heat your oven, Traeger or other Barbecue as hot as you can get it. The Traeger is made for indirect cooking which is what you will need to do with other BBQs.
- Roast the birds for 30 to 40 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 63c.
- Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for about ten minutes. Then serve as they are or cut into smaller pieces.
- Season with a little more salt if desired and top drizzle with the melted butter. I also squeezed a little more lemon juice over the top just before serving.
Disclosure: I was sent the Traeger grill free of charge to use in my recipes. So far, I have to say I love it! I can’t wait to cook on it again. For more information, please click here.