Roasted Cane River Mallards
PREP TIME: 2 Hours

The Cane River runs through the heart of Natchitoches. The early settlers of this Creole town often harvested mallard ducks from this river. There are numerous recipes for the preparation of this delicacy, but I think pot roasting is one of the best. Try substituting a variety of fresh fruit in the place of the apples.


  • 3 mallard ducks, cleaned
  • 1 tbsp thyme, chopped
  • 1 tbsp basil, chopped
  • 1 tbsp sage, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Louisiana Gold Pepper Sauce to taste
  • 3 medium onions, quartered
  • 2 stalks celery, cubed
  • 2 tbsps garlic, diced
  • 2 red apples, cubed
  • 2 green apples, cubed
  • 1 cup andouille sausage, cubed
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 red apples, quartered
  • 2 green apples, quartered
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 4 tbsps Mayhaw or fruit jelly

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Season ducks well inside and out using herbs, salt, pepper and Louisiana Gold. Stuff the cavities of the ducks with quartered onions, cubed celery, garlic, cubed apples and andouille sausage. In a large dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Brown ducks well on all sides, remove from heat and surround with remaining red and green apples and chicken stock. Drizzle butter over ducks and using a pastry brush, paint the breasts well with jelly. Cover with aluminum foil and roast the birds for 1 1/2 hours. Check for tenderness, remove foil and allow breasts to brown evenly. When done, remove ducks and keep warm. Reduce the stock over medium high heat until thickened to a sauce consistency. Strain the sauce and degrease. To serve, place one half mallard duck on a 10-inch dinner plate and top with a generous serving of sauce.


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