One of the year’s really special days is on us. In fact, it’s already here. I’m talking opening day of squirrel season which took place Saturday October 1.
I am writing this a few days before season opens and with the weather cooling down a bit over what we had for the past few weeks, I’m betting it’s going to feel good sneaking into the woods at daylight, taking a seat on a log and waiting for the first squirrel to start foraging for breakfast high in one of the oaks I’ll be watching.
There is a bumper crop of acorns, both white oak and red oak, in the woods where I’ll be hunting and I’m guessing that it won’t take too long before I’ll see the end of a branch come alive as a squirrel scoots out for a breakfast of fat acorns.
By mid-morning, the hunt will be over and I’m hoping that as I make my way out of the woods, I’ll feel the weight in my hunting vest of the squirrels I got.
Once I get them to the camp, get them skinned and gutted, I’ll be thinking of what lies ahead for me after converting them to a tasty and nutritious main course on the table.
If I get a couple of young squirrels, I’ll fry them up just like I would a young chicken; they’re tastier to me and more tender than the best Colonel Sanders has to offer. Chances are, there will be some full grown squirrels in my bag and it takes a longer cooking time for them to be tender. My favorite recipe for mature squirrels is one I grew up with; squirrel mulligan. Here’s my recipe you may want to try.
3 or 4 squirrels, cut into quarters and par-boiled for 10 minutes.
Seasoned Salt, Tony’s or favorite seasoning
Tomato Sauce – 2 small cans
Cream of Mushroom Soup – 1 can
Cream of Celery Soup – 1 can
½ Bell Pepper (diced)
2 medium onions (diced)
After par-boiling, rinse squirrels and place in pot, covering with water. Add onions, bell pepper; salt, pepper and seasonings to taste. Cook over medium heat until meat is tender.
Remove meat from bones and return meat to broth. Add tomato sauce, soup and simmer for at least half an hour.
Serve over rice.
My good friend from Cajun Country, Chris Berzas, has tantalized me with the squirrel recipes he has posted on Face Book and he agreed to furnish the one he and his friends enjoy after opening day success.
CHRIS BERZAS OPENING DAY SQUIRREL RECIPE
3-4 tbsp cooking oil
One pint Guidry’s Fresh Cut Seasoning Mix
4 cups white rice
2 cans mushroom steak sauce
3 cups water
Season squirrels to taste with Tony’s, Targil Seasoning Mix or other preferred options.
Brown squirrels in Dutch oven until they are dark brown; this encourages formation of tasty residue in pot.
Remove browned squirrels from pot but leave residue.
Saute contents of seasoning mix until onions are transparent. Add water as necessary.
Place squirrels back in pot with three cups water and two cans mushroom/steak sauce.
Cook contents at slight simmering boil for 1 to 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.
Serve over cooked rice.
If that won’t get your motor running, I suppose you can head to town to see what the Colonel has to offer, but I assure you, it won’t be half as good.
Glynn Harris Outdoor column is sponsored by D.C. Pawn in Minden
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