Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Baked Squirrel

Squirrels are tough. If they weighed 50 pounds, you'd need to hunt them with an elephant gun. Fry them like chicken, and you might as well gnaw on your hunting boots.

If you must fry them - and I love fried squirrel, gravy, and biscuits - you'll do well to parboil even the youngest squirrel for 20 minutes or so before flouring it. Even then, it's awfully easy to overcook those delectable forelegs.

If you're just getting into squirrel hunting or you've come onto possession of a mess of squirrels and have no idea how to prepare them, here's a nearly fail-safe recipe. If you've had bad experiences with tough squirrels, fear not. Follow these steps and you'll forever turn up your nose at store-bought meat.

Harold Hoey's Baked Squirrel (From Squirrel Dog Basics by David A. Osborn - highly recommended, by the way.) I've modified Mr. Hoey's recipe slightly and added some additional instructions.


2-3 sectioned squirrels
vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 small can of sliced mushrooms or half a cup of sliced fresh mushrooms.

Season squirrels with salt and pepper, then roll in flour. Cook in oiled skillet until golden brown. Place squirrels in covered baking dish. Cover squirrels with milk/cream mixture, celery, onions, and mushrooms. Bake young squirrels 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees. Bake old-timers - especially fox squirrels - another half-hour or 45 minutes.

You can't go wrong. Eat with your fingers. You'll need lots of napkins.

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