Monday, October 26, 2009

Waterfowl season opened Saturday

Ducks opened Oct 24th until Dec 6th for the first season in Seneca County. Canada geese also opened Oct 24th and go until Nov 21. NYS DEC has a very informational migratory game bird pdf that includes a waterfowl hunter's code of ethics, some guidelines for waterfowl consumption, license requirements, shipping information, etc. Of particular interest to wild harvest feasting is a short section that reads as follows:

"The NYS Department of Health recommends
• You eat no mergansers.
• You remove all fat and skin from waterfowlt
before cooking.
• You discard stuffing after cooking waterfowl.
• You eat no more than two waterfowl per

Here is an easy way to prepare duck or goose breast in a way that masks any hint of gameyness...

Thai (red or green) Waterfowl Curry

1 duck (both halves)or goose (1 half)breast cut into thin slices
1 Tbsp red or green thai curry paste found in the asian section of many grocery stores (check for a curry recipe on the jar)
1 can coconut milk (low-fat if possible)
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
3 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/3 cup chicken stock
1 cup fresh veggies, such as thin sliced onion, carrot, broccoli, celery, etc

Par boil the thin sliced duck or goose breast for 1-2 minutes and drain liquid. Then proceed to make the recipe for red or green curry dish on the label of the Thai curry paste. Basically, simmer all above ingredients for 10-15 minutes.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fall Harvest

This year the forest mast is plentiful. The acorns, hickories, and apples are abundant and the squirrels are fat! The harvest photograph pictured above (courtesy of Keith Tidball) includes the tasty mushroom/fungus, Chicken of the Woods, which is also found this time of year.

Here is a recipe to enjoy two specimens of the Fall Harvest; squirrel and apples. Enjoy.
Squirrel Braised in Apple Cider
1 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
1 dressed squirrel, cut in pieces and very lightly floured
1 medium onion, cut in quarters and separated
2 medium carrots, diced
1-1/2 cups apple cider
1/4-1/2 t. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
2 medium cooking apples, cored and quartered

In a dutch oven or similar braising pan, melt butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add squirrel pieces and brown on all sides. Add onions and carrots and cooks for 3-5 minutes. Stir in cider and scrape up any brown bits in the pan. add thyme, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Reduce heat and cover, braising until squirrel is tender and cooked through, about 45 minutes. Add apple pieces on top, cover and cook an additional 15 minutes, until apples are tender. Remove the squirrel pieces and take the meat off the bone. Place the meat back in the pan and increase the heat, bringing the cooking liquid up to a gentle simmer. Reduce the cooking liquid to a nice thick sauce (about 5 minutes). The mixture can be served on toast as an appetizer or served over whole grain rice as a main course.