How to Cook Squirrel

Three Methods:Fried SquirrelStewed SquirrelGrilled Squirrel

Squirrel is a popular game choice that is not difficult to obtain in parts of Europe, but it can only be obtained through hunting or trapping in the United States. Squirrel meat is densely textured with a much richer flavor than rabbit or chicken. Older squirrel meat tastes best when it's cooked long and slow. If you're able to obtain a freshly cleaned squirrel, try one of these delicious cooking methods: fried, stewed, or grilled.

Ingredients

Fried Squirrel

  • 2 cleaned squirrels, cut into strips
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Frying oil

Stewed Squirrel

  • 1 cleaned squirrel, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • Water
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 cup potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cups canned chopped tomatoes with juice
  • Salt and pepper

Grilled Squirrel

  • 1 or more cleaned squirrels, each cut into four pieces
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Salt and pepper

Method 1
Fried Squirrel

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    Place the squirrel pieces in a large saucepan and cover with water. Place the saucepan on the stove and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow the squirrel meat to simmer until tender, about an hour and a half.
    • Be sure to simmer, not boil the meat; it should not be falling off the bone when you remove it from heat.
    • If you have an older squirrel, it may take longer for the meat to become tender.
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    Drain the squirrel meat. Pat it dry with paper towels to remove extra moisture. Set the pieces on a plate.
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    Mix the flour, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and a few pinches of salt and black pepper in a bowl.
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    Pour oil into a frying pan. Heat the oil over medium high heat.
    • The oil should cover the bottom of the pan and come 1/4 way up the sides.
    • To deep fry the squirrel pieces, heat an inch of oil into a dutch oven or large saucepan.
    • To test whether the oil is hot enough to fry, dip the handle of a wooden spoon into the oil. When the oil bubbles rapidly around the spoon, it's ready to fry.
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    Dredge the squirrel pieces in the flour mixture. Coat the pieces one at a time, and lay them in the frying pan. Repeat until all the squirrel pieces have been dredged and are cooking in the pan.
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    Turn the squirrel pieces over to fry on the other side. Cook until the breading is golden brown.
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    Set the squirrel pieces on paper towels and allow them to drain. Serve with foods that usually accompany fried chicken: mashed potatoes, corn, or green beans. Eat carefully, since the squirrel pieces have tiny bones.

Method 2
Stewed Squirrel

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    Mix the flour and a few pinches of salt and pepper in a bowl. Dredge the squirrel pieces in the mixture, coating them on all sides. Set the pieces on a plate.
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    Place a Dutch oven or stewpot over medium heat. Melt the butter in the pot.
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    Place the squirrel pieces in the pot. Let them cook on each side for two to three minutes, until they are completely brown.
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    Cover the squirrel pieces with 7 cups of water. Be careful, since the water will bubble when it hits the hot pot.
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    Add the thyme, potatoes, corn, onions, tomatoes, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bring the contents of the pot to a boil.
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    Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Cook the stew until the squirrel meat is tender, about 2 hours. Serve with bread. Eat carefully, since the squirrel pieces have tiny bones.

Method 3
Grilled Squirrel

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    Place the squirrel pieces in a large nonreactive bowl. Cover them with water and a few teaspoons of salt. Place a lid on the bowl and refrigerate overnight.
    • This step helps to tenderize the meat. If you have a young squirrel, you may skip this step.
    • You may skip this step if you want to grill a squirrel over a fire in the woods and don't have time to soak it first.
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    Light the grill. Set up a charcoal grill with low, steady heat.
    • If you're camping in the woods, build a fire and allow it it to burn down until you have hot, slow-burning embers to cook over.
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    Drain the squirrel meat and season with salt and pepper.
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    Lay the squirrel pieces on the grill. Cook over low heat for an hour, turning the pieces occasionally.
    • If you're cooking over an outdoor fire, skewer the pieces on metal skewers or cleaned sticks. Cook for an hour, rotating occasionally.
    • For barbecued squirrel, baste the squirrel pieces with barbecue sauce every fifteen minutes until the meat is cooked.

Tips

  • Squirrel meat is often procured by younger hunters, so make sure that any youth hunter is responsible and well-trained.
  • Keeping the squirrel in a cool place after it has been killed it and soaking it in water before skinning makes for easier removal of the skin and hair.
  • Older squirrel meat may take longer to tenderize and cook.
  • A squirrel typically consists of 6 pieces of meat, 4 legs and 2 back pieces, although some enjoy the head, which usually has some meat in the "cheeks" and the brain.

Warnings

  • Squirrel meat should be cooked thoroughly as to assure that there is no bacteria present in the meat.
  • Make sure squirrel meat and other game is obtained from a reputable source that hunted it legally and cleaned it properly. Never attempt to cook or consume any animal that has been poached, imported, or found dead.

Article Info

Categories: Meat