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Old 10-19-2004, 12:25 AM   #1
 
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Wild Game Birds Processing and Cooking

Having had the experience of hunting wild duck, goose, partridge and grouse, its ineresting just "what" people do with the meat so "harvested"...

Coming from parents/grandparents who outlived the Dirty 30's and settled the area at the turn of the previous century, I do not mean to attract comment on how I just phrased that...anyone who hunts understands its very difficult to attract birds or animals to a reasonable range, and just as difficult to take them cleanly, and quickly, and retriee whatever you shoot, and use it...

Anyways, it was neat to hunt with my father, uncles and grandffather on occaision, and, when it was ducks that we were after, go through all of the production of plucking, dipping in wax to take off the down and pinfeathers, gutting and cleaning (usually late at night, after an early morning!), and the "hot toddy's that were on offer after this was completed, to come up with some admittedly small carcasses which were roasted whole...

As I aged, I got to shoot with some farm boys, who knew better how to deke the bird in, and was once enthusiastically supported by a company president who flew in with his son-in-law, that man's father, and their field trials champion retriever...and with 2 or 3 co-workers we "lowered the population" of mallards that week (no difference, there's even more of them now!) but the funny part was that "Lloyd" and myself wound up in my basement with 6 guy's limit of ducks in front of us, and the prospect of an 0400 alarm the next day, to do it again...

This is where I learned to butcher the birds, taking the legs, thighs and breast meat, which, on a wild duck, you will appreciate is 93% of the usable meat...

"Lloyd" showed me how you placed this in a stainless steel bowl, covering it with water, and adding about a half cup of Kosher Salt to pull the blood out, that the next day, with this "aging" affected on the meat, you could drain, rinse, pre-season with seasoning salt, meat tenderiser, onion and garlic powder, etc, and bag and freeze the meat in meal size portions...

The seasoning and tenderisers worked the meat until freezing was achieved, and helped the thawing process, much as does a marinade by Rainee...and once thawed, coating it with a light bit of flour, you could saute it in cheap red wine, olive oil and garlic that even my wife demanded another package be opened and cooked up (her father was a meat inspector and she had major fears over wild meat!)

This "graduated" me to deer and moose in time, and it was neat to note how the handling of the animal in the field was, the careful removal of the digestive tract (okay, I'm being careful here to avoid censure from the BoardMaster! Anyone who has ever field butchered will catch my point!) and avoidance of contact with hair, or mud to meat...

The importance of having a place to hang the carcass and again the VITAL importance of hanging at least 14 days, if not longer...and with deer and moose, cutting away ALL the fat and bone....

Steaks and "roasts" are all you'll get in a solid piece, the rest is a long couple days with a flensing/boning knife, and you better have the sharpening stone handy...as you WILL be using it! And the resultant mass is good for hamburger or sausage only...unless you have the skill to cut away "cutlets", which should be treated (IMO) exactly like the goose breasts, and cooked the same too!

Anyways, its late, and will see if there are respondents to this and if we can take the cooking methods forwards for others...

Lifter

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Old 10-19-2004, 12:35 PM   #2
 
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I have never had wild game, except wild turkey.. I was invited over to a friend's Thanksgiving festivities one year... my family was out of town for a wedding. Her father is a big hunter, and I think wild turkey is moister and more flavorful than regular. I wish I had some good recipes for you.. I think I would like all kinds of wild game.
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Old 10-19-2004, 12:46 PM   #3
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The only wild bird I have ever had the joy of hunting, cleaning, cooking, & eating is dove. We only use the breast because they are so small. I have 2 methods of cooking these & IMHO, slow & long cooking is what it takes because they tend to be tough. The first method is to dredge the breasts in seasoned flour & brown in a small amount of hot oil, then add a can of cream of mushroom soup + 1/2 to 1 can of milk to the skillet & cover & cook until the meat is tender & cooked through(about 20-30 minutes on medium low heat). The second methid is to wrap each breast in a piece of bacon & place in a 275F oven for 20-30 minutes & then turn to broil to crisp the bacon & serve with sauted onions & mushrooms.
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Old 10-19-2004, 12:53 PM   #4
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geez, i sure hope marge doesn't read this.
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Old 10-19-2004, 12:56 PM   #5
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LOL, not that Dove! Her Dove is cute & furrry.
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Old 10-19-2004, 12:58 PM   #6
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not if lifter gets anywhere near her...lol.
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Old 10-19-2004, 12:59 PM   #7
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LOL!
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Old 10-20-2004, 01:35 AM   #8
 
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Thanks for ruining what was hoped to be a good column, guys...

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Old 10-20-2004, 07:46 AM   #9
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Lifter I apologize if we ruined your thread. Bucky & I were just having a little harmless fun.
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Old 10-20-2004, 08:54 AM   #10
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To get back on topic, Lifter, please give me some ideas on for the venison roast languishing away in the freezer (someone gave it to us). I don't really like the taste of venison, so what can I doctor it up with?

And please go on in your description of animal disassembly and prep. Hope you attract some other hunters to your campfire.
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