Recipe: Wild Duck Escabeche

A traditional preparation found around the world with origins on the Iberian peninsula, escabeche usually consists of a pickled mix of colorful vegetables, spices, and meat or fish. The exact composition is the source of much argument, opening the way for improvisation and creativity. There is universal agreement that escabeche is a flavorful, relatively easy way to prepare wild game and keep it preserved for an extended period. The recipe shared here is bright with a nice acidity, making it a great companion with the richness of a pâté, and it will keep for up to two weeks in a refrigerator.

Wild Duck Escabeche


- 1 whole duck (5lb avg)
- 2 large carrots cut into julienne
- 1 onion julienned
-1 cauliflower cut into 1 inch pieces 
- 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 cup of white vinegar
- 1/4 cup of water
- 1/4 cup of white wine
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika
- Salt 
- Thyme
- Rosemary  


  1. In a saucepan, cover the duck with water, add 1/2 cup of vinegar, 1 tablespoon of salt, and bring to a boil.  
  2. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook the duck until the meat can be separated from the bone easily but before the duck is falling apart, approximately 30 to 40 minutes.  
  3. Carefully remove the duck from the water, and let it rest on a cooling wire rack.  
  4. Once cool, shred the duck meat, separating the bones from the meat. Reserve all the meat.  
  5. Place a skillet pan with 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium heat.  
  6. Add the onion, and cook until golden. Follow with the garlic, carrots and cauliflower. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the carrots and cauliflower start to soften, about 5 minutes.
  7. Deglaze the skillet with the white wine and the vinegar. Reduce, then add 1/4 cup of water and cook until the carrots and cauliflower are done. 
  8. Season with sugar and smoked paprika. 
  9. Add the duck and stir well.  
  10. Jar the escabeche while hot, adding sprigs of rosemary and thyme.  
  11. Serves 4 to 6 people. Keeps in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.  

To serve: Arrange the escabeche in a bowl, season with olive oil, and serve at room temperature with bread.

About the Chef
Stefano Mastracchio splits time between José Ignacio, Uruguay and Montauk, New York, where he explores Latin American and Asian cuisine with knowledge and experience built from a career of working in great restaurants around the world. Stefano has worked with renowned chefs such as Francis Mallmann, Frank Castronovo, and Frank Falcinelli doing catering, events, cooking lessons, and coordinating filming productions, with a particular interest in woodfire techniques. For the last six years, Stefano has been working and leading different operations with Fernando Trocca, including in Jose Ignacio, Buenos Aires, Manhattan, Montauk, and London.