Several nicknames exist for the American Woodcock—timberdoodle, Labrador twister, mudsnipe, among others—though during my first few maiden hours chasing them last fall, I came to know them simply as “the woodland knuckleball.” Continue reading “Fungi and Feathers Make for Great Cuisine: Woodcock and Hen of the Woods Teriyaki Stir-Fry”
While spatchcocking (removing the spine to butterfly an entire bird) is often used for larger poultry such as turkey, the technique also works beautifully on pheasant. Additionally, there are a few extra benefits for employing this technique. Continue reading “With Your Last Hurrah for BBQ Season, Spatchcock Your Wild Birds”
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”
When four friends limit out on pheasants and one guy calls dibs on gizzards, much like the childhood game of calling “shotgun,” there can be no argument. Continue reading “The secret to great gizzards, same as the Irish folk song: beer, beer, beer”
There is no hunt that requires a greater sense of poise than wild turkey.
A hunter sits with his or her back to a tree to distort their silhouette, ignoring the knots forming in the back, calves going numb, after hours of remaining motionless.
A paranoia persists: What is out there that I can’t see, watching me. Continue reading “Never Hurry A Curry: Wild Tom Thai Red Curry Soup”
Let me get this out of the way: The best brine ingredients should create a strong reaction for your taste buds, otherwise they don’t belong. Continue reading “Learn the Secrets Behind Improving Your Brines: Hickory-Smoked Ginger Pheasant”
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”
It wouldn’t be Cinco de Mayo without spending a few hours in the kitchen getting a crick in the neck making tamales. While this recipe can require a couple hours of prep work solo, tamale assembly is best enjoyed with a party–that means tequila, cervezas and friends and family. Tamales freeze easily and are readily available later for when hungry relatives arrive throughout the year. Continue reading “Make It a Party: Pheasant and Roasted Poblano Tamales (and Don’t Forget the Tequila)”
One of my earliest childhood memories is the Kentucky mountainside opposite my great-grandmother’s porch. A steep mosaic of oak and pine, it towered over the one-lane highway hemming its slope, a short walk from Nannie’s front steps. I recall well the intermittent hum of semis at night, the whirring glow of their cab lights like fireflies in our guest bedroom window. In the morning we woke early to the sounds of Nannie working in the kitchen. Smells of frying bacon and chicken roused our noses from sleep, luring our feet, pair by pair, down creaking floorboards. Continue reading “Incorporating My Appalachian Roots: Kentucky-Fried Ruffed Grouse Legs”
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”