What you will need:

  • Duck Breast
  • Jalapeños
  • Cream Cheese
  • Bacon
  • *Toothpicks

*Toothpicks can be soaked in water while you prepare the poppers- this can keep the ends from being torched by open flame on a bbq, keeping unsuspecting eaters from unwillingly biting down on a hidden toothpick at an unforgiving angle.

Instructions / Steps

Place cleaned duck breasts in saltwater brine while preparing.

Cut the strips of bacon in half, and the jalapeños should be sliced in half longways with the seeds removed. Add cream cheese into the pepper halves, fill flush with the edges.

Cut duck breasts into 1” x 2” strips. You can add salt and pepper, or other spices- or use meat that has been marinating in your flavor profile of choice. 

Take a jalapeños half with cream cheese, lay the duck on top, and wrap with a half strip of bacon. Skewer with a toothpick. Repeat with remaining duck meat.

Cooking the poppers. I prefer the open flame of a BBQ but an oven will work as well. 350-400 degrees is a good cook temp. On a BBQ, you’ll want to cook with the cream cheese up and then turn once so the cream cheese is down. Then turn again shortly after to finish with the cream cheese side up. No need to turn the poppers in the oven, but both cooking methods need you to be vigilant. Bacon grease fires are a regular occurrence when cooking poppers on the BBQ. Cooking the poppers typically take about 15-20 minutes. You want the bacon a little crispy and the cheese a little melted, but most importantly you’re aiming for a medium cooked duck strip. 

Let cool for a few minutes, and enjoy! 4-6 Poppers per person is a good target for an afternoon meal, 2-3 per person is a good number for appetizers before a larger meal. One medium sized duck like a wigeon or gadwall is good for on average 4 poppers, and one mallard sized duck should yield about 6 poppers.

Remember, even with thorough inspection of meat, pellets may still be embedded. Make sure to be careful when eating and serving poppers.