The canvasback, depending on its diet before you shot it, can be very tasty indeed. I would recommend the following preparation: Pluck and draw the duck. Remove the breasts but do NOT skin. Use a filet knife to do this part and be careful around the wishbone or you'll miss a bunch of meat.
Refrigerate the breasts (wrap in plastic). Roast the carcass until browned (350 for an hour will do). Take the carcass and place it in a large stock pot. Cover bones with cold water, add a quartered onion, skin and all (Videllia (sp?) 1015 or some other sweet variety is my preference)quartered. Add a carrot and a couple of cloves of fresh garlic.
Simmer stock at least 3 hours (I cook mine all night at a very low temp - bubbles rise very slow and not too often). strain the stock and reserve.
For the sauce, add a ¼ cup of clover honey to a 1½ quart sauce pan. heat over medium heat until the honey starts to slightly darken. Remove from the heat and add ⅔ cup of a nice white wine (the better the wine the better the sauce - don't use any cheap stuff). Return to high heat and reduce by half. Add 3 cups of duck stock and reduce until it gives a demi-glaze sauce consistency (about ⅔ of a cup remains). Add a tablespoon of hoisen (you can get this in the oriental section of your grocery) and mix in for about a minute. remove from the heat. Optionally, you can add a tablespoon of butter once completed.
Right before your sauce is ready, salt and pepper your duck breasts. Heat a cast-iron or other type of non-stick skillet to medium high. Put the breasts in skin side down and cook until skin becomes somewhat crisp. Turn and cook for about a minute on the other side. The duck should be rare (I've never gotten sick from eating rare duck. If wild duck is over cooked it doesn't taste near as good - the difference is like night and day).
Slice the breast long ways and ladle sauce on top. Serve with the remaining white wine and vegetables of choice. This is an easy recipe that will make duck lovers out of most anyone.
Ken Ihrer Newsgroups: rec.hunting NYC Nutrilink: N0^00000