This recipe works well for any type of puddle duck (probably goose, too) but this write-up focuses on buffleheads. Say you’ve gone on an Atlantic coast duck hunt and had a great time, and maybe you shot some buffleheads. A lot of folks see buffies as divers or fish ducks. While they are divers, Wikipedia says “in freshwater habitats, they eat primarily insects, and in saltwater, they feed predominantly on crustaceans and mollusks. Aquatic plants and fish eggs can often become locally important food items, as well”. I don’t know about you, but a lot of my favorite eating birds eat bugs, invertebrates, and plants (turkeys, chickens, grouse, geese, and so on).
Most importantly, I’ve never detected a fish smell or flavor in bufflehead meat. This information doesn’t include mergansers, coots, etc. To quote a funny Virginia duck guide, “Round-bill duck, not pointy-bill duck!”
To make duck sausage, you need: Ground duck and ground bacon or pork belly, about 1:1 ratio (this write-up uses a pound of boned-out bufflehead breasts, about 12 ducks, and a pound of bacon); shredded cheese (4 oz. or a half cup of colby jack here); Fresh marjoram leaves to taste (about a half ounce here); Fresh or powdered sage to taste; Salt and and whole peppercorns to taste; Ground, cored, jalapeño peppers (about 12 here)
Here is how the ground duck, ground bacon, cheese, and spice looks. Knead this mixture and grind it again. At this point, make a tiny patty and fry it to check for flavor and spice level. If you think it needs more spice, knead some in as needed.
At this point, you can package the bulk sausage and cook it in patties, spaghetti sauce, lasagna, or anywhere that you might use country sausage. Alternately, you can stuff the sausage in a casing, like these links were, with natural hog casing. These were delicious in red sauce with peppers and onions.