October’s Bounty: Food So Good It Should Be On Hell’s Kitchen™
©BN Reece 2010

As a Hunter…I know wild game is the best meat there is. But sometimes it is just not cooked well. The following recipes are the top choices for each. So good in fact I would challenge Chef Gordon Ramsey to find better!!

October is small game month. The preseason to Deer hunts and post season to bear hunts. But for most hunters it is the key season, with the bounty of game to be bagged and meats to freeze for the upcoming winter. More meat for many meals will get frozen this month. Granted a deer will yield more poundage, but not as much diversity.

The three key species here are:
1. Bunny: Snowshoe Hare
2. Bird: Ruffed Grouse (Duck/Pheasant are available regionally but not “key”.)
3. Squirrel: Grey (No Reds!!)

So I will break down the recipes according to this list:


Braised rabbit with red wine

1 2-1/2 pound Rabbit (Quartered)1/2 pound small Mushrooms 1/4 pound chopped White Onions 1-1/2 cups dry red Wine 1/2 cup Chicken Bouillon 2 Tbsp. Canola Oil 1 Tbsp. freshly chopped Garlic 1 Tbsp. Tomato Paste 1/2 tsp. Salt 1/2 tsp. Pepper 2 Bay Leaves 1/2 tsp. dried Thyme 6 sprigs fresh Parsley
Wrap the parsley, thyme and bay leaves in a small piece of cheesecloth, securing with string to form an herb bouquet. Sprinkle the rabbit pieces with salt and pepper.
Over high heat, heat the oil in a large, heavy bottom pot or dutch oven. Add the rabbit pieces to the pot and brown for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent sticking. Drain off the fat. Add to the pot the mushrooms, onions and garlic. Cook the rabbit and vegetables together for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add the wine, bouillon, tomato paste and herb bouquet to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 40 minutes, or until the rabbit is tender. Remove the herb bouquet.
To reduce and thicken the gravy, uncover the pot and cook over medium heat for about 5 more minutes.

Serve with Rice or egg noodles.


Italian Grouse Breasts
4 Grouse breasts: deboned and halved
1 cup Italian Salad Dressing
8 slices bacon
4 slices Mozzarella
8 tbsp. Parmesan
2 cups pasta sauce (Standard tomato…but Alfredo is great too.)

Fillet Grouse breasts from breastbone and divide. Flatten with meat hammer. Marinate 2 hours in Italian Salad Dressing. (If you have a vacuum sealer you can speed marination by bagging meat and Italian. Sealing the bag infuses the breast with the dressing.)
Cut 8 Mozzarella cheese slices in half. Creating 16 strips.
Roll breast and cheese half slice and wrap in bacon. Skewer the roll with heavy toothpicks or skewers. Broil or grill until bacon is cooked.
Now with remaining 8 strips Mozzarella cheese, top breast roll while hot with Mozzarella and then Parmesan cheese. Top with “hot” pasta sauce and serve

Serves 4 persons, and goes with pasta better than potatoes.


Southern Fried Squirrel
4 Grey Squirrels quartered
Salt, pepper, red (Cayenne) pepper
1 c Flour
1 c Pancake mix
Crisco oil (for frying)

Season cut up squirrel with salt, pepper and red pepper. Dust liberally with paprika. Combine flour and pancake mix in large bowl, or paper sack. Coat squirrel in flour mixture “just before” frying. In a heavy skillet (Cast iron) containing about 2 inches of oil, fry squirrel over medium high heat, turning once, until golden brown and tender. (Serves 4.)

I prefer to have this with some “home Fries” or other “fries”. Want to try something different? French cut Sweet potato and fry up like regular French fries. Either plain or season with the same spices and mix used on the squirrel.

If you have never tried squirrel…this recipe will convert you into a squirrel eating fool. Awesome!!!

As I said in the beginning…….this stuff is so good it should be on Hell’s Kitchen™ .


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