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Old 04-06-2010, 06:30 PM   #1
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Squirrel Chili? Need help!

Hi everyone. I have been asked to make a huge pot of squirrel chili for a taxidermy master class and feed, here at a local art gallery in May.

I do make a mean chili, however, never cooked (nor eaten) a squirrel. They are shipping me some cleaned squirrels (hopefully enough...LOL)....and I was wondering your thoughts on how to cook the meat itself before throwing it into the chili???

Should I brown the meat...braise it or roast it first? Any ideas would be much appreciated. Thank you!

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Old 04-06-2010, 07:10 PM   #2
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I would cut it into small pieces (less than a half inch) and brown the meat in hot fat then proceed with the rest of the recipe. Chili should be cooking for some time so the meat should be tender.
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:04 PM   #3
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Eating mostly vegetable matter, and being a rodent, like rabbit, I would think that squirrel would be similar in taste and texture (except red squirrel which also eats meat). I would also expect it to be very lean.

For the above reasons, I agree with Andy M. I might dust with Old Bay seasoning while it's cooking. Are you making a meat and seasoniings type of chili, or a more eastern style with lots of beans, tomato, onion, celery, etc.?

And if the squirrels are with bone, I might just cut it into pieces and leave the meat on the bones. They would add to the flavor. On the other hand, as they are small bones, they might be irritating to the people eating the squirrel. Remove the bones.

The meat may have a gamey flavor, which would go very well with a chili that's seasoned with plenty of cummin, coriander, and some cilantro, as well as chili powder.

I'm sorry. I'm thinking about this as I'm typing. I hope some of what I've said makes sense. I'm quitting now.

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Old 04-06-2010, 08:07 PM   #4
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Oh, by the way, when I saw the title of your thread, the first thing that popped into my mind was "Put a jacket on it." and yes, I am the resident cornball. Thank you, thank you.

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Old 04-06-2010, 08:13 PM   #5
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that is so disgusting on so many levels not your joke but the recipe part.
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:26 PM   #6
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Thanks guys! I'm thinkin squirrel bones won't be so good for Southern Californians experimenting, so I was hoping to figure out how to cook the meat off the bones, before throwing it in the chili...LOL.

Goodweed, thank you, I will be adding alot of roasted chilis and alot of beans to this, because they are supposedly sending me some squirrels and I am absolutely sure it will not be enough meat. I mean...they are squirrels...LOL. I'd prefer a nice rack of pork ribs myself....and by themselves, not in chili.

However...I am excited about this challenge!
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodweed of the North View Post
Eating mostly vegetable matter, and being a rodent, like rabbit, I would think that squirrel would be similar in taste and texture (except red squirrel which also eats meat). I would also expect it to be very lean.
...
Call me crazy, but I don't think rabbits are rodents.
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:52 PM   #8
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I have a rabbit in the yard...he chews through stuff BETTER than a rodent...LOL. Not that I care to eat either of them!
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Old 04-06-2010, 09:05 PM   #9
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In my experience, rabbits (both wild and domestic) are no where near as tough as squirrel. Squirrel is definitely as braising proposition.
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Old 04-06-2010, 11:05 PM   #10
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My mistake. I looked it up. Rabbits are actually closely related to horses due to the way their digestive systems work, at least according to the article I looked at. Beavers, on the other hand, are the largest rodent in North America.

Sorry 'bout that.

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