Squirrel Chili? Need help!

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kuki

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Apr 6, 2010
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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. :ermm: 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!
 

Andy M.

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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.
 

Chief Longwind Of The North

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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.:LOL:

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
 

Chief Longwind Of The North

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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.":LOL::LOL::LOL: and yes, I am the resident cornball. Thank you, thank you.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
 

kuki

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Apr 6, 2010
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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!
 

jet

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Oct 15, 2007
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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.
...

Call me crazy, but I don't think rabbits are rodents.
 

kuki

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Apr 6, 2010
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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!
 

jet

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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.
 

Chief Longwind Of The North

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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.:mellow:

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
 

sparrowgrass

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I have a squirrel hunting son, and his favorite food in the world is squirrel pot pie. I simmer the squirrels until they are tender, and pull the meat off the bones. I put onions, celery and carrots in the pot with the squirrels.

You have to be very careful while pulling the meat off the bones--you might find some shot, if they were killed with a shotgun, and you will certainly find bone fragments. Squirrel bones are very hard, and very unpleasant to bite down on.

For chili, I guess I would leave the celery and carrots out, maybe add some green chilis and garlic?

Squirrel is very tasty--sweet, dark meat. I think chili is a waste of the flavor, since you will be covering it up with all the spices.
 

Uncle Bob

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Braising prior to going in the chili is the method I would use....Squirrel stew, Squirrel and dumplings are good eats....So is BBQed beaver...Of course rabbit is awesome, fried, and in braised recipes...Never had squirrel chili however....Let us know how it turns out!

Fun!
 

kuki

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Apr 6, 2010
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Thank you! Yes I agree, the chili will probably kill the flavor, but this is what they want. I doubt there will be enough meat for a real stew, so the chili is probably a better bet, with such a big crowd. I will certainly take some pics of the event and let you guys know how it turns out!

That pot pie sounds DELICIOUS!
 

Jeff G.

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You could cook it like I do for my sirloin chili..
Put the squirrel meat in a skillet and fry it down, when about half done add fresh chili peppers, onion and some chili powder. After that cooks down, meat done, onions peppers cooked.. add a bit of scotch to deglaze..1/4-1/2 cup.. mix with your tomatoes/tomato juice and add beans if desired, season to taste... It should retain some of the squirrelness...
 

kuki

Assistant Cook
Joined
Apr 6, 2010
Messages
15
You could cook it like I do for my sirloin chili..
Put the squirrel meat in a skillet and fry it down, when about half done add fresh chili peppers, onion and some chili powder. After that cooks down, meat done, onions peppers cooked.. add a bit of scotch to deglaze..1/4-1/2 cup.. mix with your tomatoes/tomato juice and add beans if desired, season to taste... It should retain some of the squirrelness...

You really can't go wrong with booze.....:D
 

Don _OH

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Apr 9, 2010
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Reply: Squirrel Chili

This recipe is adapted from a Brunswick Stew and would work well with your added chili ingredients.

Brunswick Stew

1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. pepper
3 dressed squirrels (3/4-1 lb. each), cut up
2 slices bacon, cut up
2 Tbs. butter
1 can (28 oz.) whole tomatoes, drained
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tbs. packed brown sugar
2 medium potatoes
1 Tbs. packed brown sugar
2 medium potatoes
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen lima beans
1 cup fresh or frozen whole corn
3 Tbs. all purpose flour, optional
3 Tbs. cold water, optional

In large plastic food-storage bag, combine 1/4 cup flour, salt and pepper; shake to mix. Add squirrel pieces; shake to coat. Set aside. In Dutch oven, combine bacon and butter. Heat over medium heat until butter melts. Add squirrel pieces; brown on all sides. Fry in two batches, if necessary. Add 5 cups water, the tomatoes, onion and brown sugar.Heat to boiling. Reduce heat. Cover.
Simmer until squirrel pieces are tender, 1 1/2-2 hrs, stirring constantly.

Remove squirrel pieces; set aside to cool slightly. Cut potatoes into 1/2-in cubes. Remove squirrel meat from bones; discard bones. Add squirrel meat, potatoes, beans, and corn to Dutch oven. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat. Cover, Simmer until potatoes are tender, 25 to 35 minutes, If stew is thinner than desired, blend 3 Tbs. flour and 3 Tbs. cold water in small bowl. Add to stew, stirring constantly. Heat to boiling. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubble,
6-8 servings
336 calories per serving
protein 31g
Carbohydrate: 29 gr.
Fat 11 gr.
Cholesterol 110 gr.
Sodium 670 mg.

Again this isn't chili, but with a few obvious ingredient changes you will be well on your way to good eats.

From Preparing Fish and Wild Game, Creative Publishing International, 2000, 5900 Green Oak Dr., Minnetonka, MN 55343
 
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