Minimalism Should Be Your Mantra When Flavoring Wild Game for the First Time: Canada Goose

I contend the first bite of wild game should taste as authentic as possible. That first meal is as an extension of a memory—an unforgettable day, one of hard work and adrenaline and the calm sense of reverence following that first kill. In recounting the experience to friends and family, you won’t dare hide one single detail. You want to share the moment as authentically as it happened. So why would you wish for anything less than the real deal when initially tasting your trophy or having others flavor it for the first time? Continue reading “Minimalism Should Be Your Mantra When Flavoring Wild Game for the First Time: Canada Goose”

Think You Know Your Tenderloins? Wild Turkey Tenderloin and Gnocchi with Chardonnay Beurre Blanc

Ask most bird hunters and they might tell you there’s no such thing as a fowl tenderloin. After all, on the backside of any bird—where one would expect to locate a tenderloin, since that is where they are found on cattle and deer—there is little more than bone and gristle.

I myself doubted such a succulent cut existed on any wild bird until a few years ago, when a friend introduced me to a mouth-watering piece of bird hidden in an unexpected location. Continue reading “Think You Know Your Tenderloins? Wild Turkey Tenderloin and Gnocchi with Chardonnay Beurre Blanc”

Two Reasons Why Spring is Such an Exceptional Season: Wild Turkey and Pheasant Back Risotto

After the doldrums of late-winter—those weeks when the ice has started to thaw on lakes statewide, leaving little opportunity for fishing—spring is a welcomed reprieve from cold days with little sunshine. For us hunters and foragers in particular, spring represents the opportunity to pursue some of the rarest, most-elusive table fare the year will have to offer and serve it up in some classic or new favorite dishes.  Continue reading “Two Reasons Why Spring is Such an Exceptional Season: Wild Turkey and Pheasant Back Risotto”

A Belated St. Paddy’s, Lenten Feast: Fried Walleye with Irish Colcannon

I thought I knew a good fish fry, until I moved to Minnesota, where the state fish, the ever-famous walleye, was a game changer. I had fried everything from bass to cod to trout during my years in the Pacific Northwest. While I thoroughly enjoyed those suppers, nothing quite beats a walleye—the way it melts in your mouth, how its flavor balances perfectly with spices inside a golden-brown crust. Continue reading “A Belated St. Paddy’s, Lenten Feast: Fried Walleye with Irish Colcannon”

Real Hunters Know Their Gravies: Roasted Grouse with Hunter-Style Gravy

The origin of hunter-style gravy, or “sauce chasseur” as the French call it, remains rather unclear. Seen on modern menus today, the term hunter-style or hunter’s sauce typically refers to a recipe that includes sautéed mushrooms and is made from beef demi-glace. Some sources suggest the sauce got its name from the practice of hunters returning home from a successful hunt and foraging for mushrooms along their route. Other sources speculate instead of wine—a common ingredient in modern hunter-style gravies—hunters employed the blood from their kill in the recipe. I prefer to believe the latter and have sought to create a recipe that aims to celebrate the ritualistic nature of returning home from the woods after a great day bagging grouse. Continue reading “Real Hunters Know Their Gravies: Roasted Grouse with Hunter-Style Gravy”

The Airline Cut: Grilled Rosemary Pheasant with Red Curry Sauce

For most wingshooters, when it comes to preparing their birds, there are typically two options: breasts and thighs, or the longer—but also more rewarding—process of plucking the entire fowl. However, a happy medium exists between these two choices, one that saves time but also offers the benefits of bone-in, skin-on pheasant.
 
An airline cut saves skin, resulting in a crispier exterior, while also leaving a drumette attached. While some chefs argue bone-in proteins don’t add extra flavor, I tend to disagree, since I believe innate flavors present in bones seep out into meat during cooking. As well, leaving the drumette attached allows for a more even cook and a juicer piece of pheasant once done grilling.     Continue reading “The Airline Cut: Grilled Rosemary Pheasant with Red Curry Sauce”