When it comes to classic Mississippi Flyway duck hunting, Strait Lake Lodge ticks off all the icons. Vast bottoms of flooded timber. Agriculture fields. Moist soil impoundments. A seven-hundred-acre dedicated rest area that remains untouched throughout the hunting season. Every square foot is part of a plan of conservation and recreation.
This duck taco appetizer is similarly deliberate. It’s a simple recipe, chef John Fearrington says, but the strategy behind it is more layered. “Tacos are an easy transition for someone who is not used to eating wild game, and they help connect our hunters to this place and to what it stands for.”
Fearrington’s résumé is eclectic. He spent three years as executive chef of the pioneering French restaurant La Residence in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, then signed on with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway as a chef for VIP travelers and company executives. He now splits time between the ten-thousand-acre Cotton Mesa Ranch in Colorado, Strait Lake Lodge, and other private sporting camps. One trick he employs at all his venues is to soak wild game meat in a cold-water bath for twenty-four hours to pull out as much blood as possible. “I swear you can taste the difference,” he says.