We had some neighbors who liked to bird hunt and when they would come home with a couple of wild ducks, they would bring them to my mother because she loved cooking and eating them. Now just so you know, I am talking about 60 years ago, one big long time distant!
First thing, she would dig in her purse and find $10 to buy real wild rice with. This isn't the cultivated stuff we are talking about, but harvested by *Ojibway people in our area. She gave me this money to go to the store because she felt guilty about spending that much on something my Dad wasn't too crazy about, but she and I were! I was happy to do this because I knew when I came back those birds would be clean and ready to cook with no help from me.
Now these birds were scrawny little ducks usually, not like the plump ones in the picture, but that is OK.
My mother would start the rice cooking, with onion, celery, and sage and then she would stuff these wild birds with the wild rice dressing. You could just have lived on the scent of them cooking in the oven!
When this dish finished cooking, my Dad was always hoping for "something else" and he usually got it, but my mother and I would first scoop out the wild rice that had been cooked in the wild duck, then we would pick away at the meat of the duck which was sort of tough and nothing too great. What the wild duck was, was the single best vehicle to cook the wild rice in.
I have often wondered if I could duplicate this dish today, and I have decided that No, I probably can't. I don't know any duck hunters, but I swear my mother knew a little magic with this, that I don't know. I was just glad she shared it with me and happy for the memory of her and her wild ducks.
Cheers and hugs,
Jo and Stella