I love a good jalapeno popper. I love the rich cream cheese paired with buttery sharp cheddar. I love the, sometimes overwhelming, heat of the jalapeno. And I love the salty bite of bacon. It is easily my favorite grilled food.
I am such a fan of the grilled jalapeno popper that I tend to take other popular grilling items and transform them into jalapeno popper versions. For example, I never turn down a dove jalapeno popper. I also have been known to create a grilled shrimp jalapeno popper. None of these are novel ideas, but they are recipes that never disappoint.
This summer, I opened the freezer and noticed a few forgotten mallard breasts. I had just seen a recipe for duck jalapeno poppers while visiting some popular grilling websites I frequent, and of course I mentally fired up the charcoal and started cleaning jalapenos for duck poppers. Upon wandering outside to actually start the grill, I realized it was well over 100 degrees outside, and nothing sounded worse than standing in front of a sweltering grill slowly turning poppers. I retreated back to the air conditioning and started to reformulate my plan.
A little contemplation lead to the duck jalapeno popper quesadilla. All the beautiful grilled flavors of the popper, including the jalapeno, onions, cream and cheddar cheeses, and bacon but prepared in a crispy tortilla shell quesadilla style.
Instead of leaving the duck whole and wrapping it in bacon, I slow cooked it for a few hours, with bacon to add a little fat, and then shredded the meat. Add to the shredded duck all the popper fixing, grill it on the griddle or in the oven, and you have a fast, easy alternative to the popper! And you don’t even have to break a sweat doing it.
The full recipe is featured on huntinglife.com, which I am very excited to be able to be a part of. Check out the entire recipe here: Duck Jalapeno Popper Quesadilla!