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  • April 30, 2010

    Contest: How Would You Cook This Turkey?

    By Colin Kearns

    My turkey season got off to a killer start. From Saturday to Wednesday, I was at turkey camp near Arnold, Neb. (More stories and photos from this trip very soon.) The hunters in our camp had 45,000 acres to ourselves...unless you count the mobs upon mobs of gobblers that we shared the land with. Which none of us minded in the least.

  • April 26, 2010

    When Is Your Game Meat Cooked Right? When It Passes the Poke Test

    By Colin Kearns

    Several months ago, I had the chance to chat with Steven Raichlen—author of Planet Barbecue! and host of “Primal Grilling”—for his tips on how to perfectly prepare a charcoal grill for summer barbecue (more on those tips in the near future). Raichlen also shared another smart tip, and that one I will share with you now.

    To gauge the doneness of meat, Raichlen uses the “Poke Test.” Here’s how it works: Make the OK sign with your thumb and index finger. Now, touch the pad of flesh at the base of your thumb. The flesh should feel soft and squishy; this is what rare meat feels like, according to Raichlen. Switch to your middle finger, and the pad feels a bit firmer—that’s medium-rare. Your ring finger is medium. And with your pinky, it’s well-done.

  • April 23, 2010

    Drowning (or Feeding) Our Sorrows In Venison

    By Colin Kearns

    Last night a few of us attended the annual National Magazine Awards (magazines' version of the Oscars). We were nominated for two awards, General Excellence and best Leisure Interest story for "America's Meat", our tribute to venison from the December 2009-January 2010 issue.

    Unfortunately, we came up short in both categories. And our story about venison lost to a story about pizza. Hey, we love a good slice—but not half as much as a slice of backstrap. But we'll let you be the judge. What would you rather eat: pizza or this venison shoulder dish pictured here (recipe below), courtesy of chef John Besh?

    Maybe for next year's awards we'll come back with a story about venison pizza. Actually, that sounds pretty darn good...

  • April 22, 2010

    Welcome to The Wild Chef, a New Blog on Field & Stream!

    By Colin Kearns

    If you’re like us (and we’re pretty certain you are), then you enjoy cooking and eating wild game and fish almost as much as you enjoy hunting and fishing. Almost. And it’s because of our love for all things rare, grilled, poached, fried, you name it, that we decided to serve a second helping of the magazine’s popular food column, The Wild Chef, in blog form on You can check back each week for cooking tips, food news, stories, and, of course, some killer recipes.

    But we want to include you as much as possible. We're looking for recipes from our readers, photo galleries of your camp cuisine, and will be running monthly contests in which you can win great prizes. After all, a good meal is always best when shared with friends, and we think this blog should be the same way.

    On that note, we’d like to start this blog off right: with a recipe. This one comes from Robert Gelman, executive chef of NYY Steak in New York City (in Yankee Stadium, to be exact). Hopefully you’ll find the time to cook the dish this weekend. If you do, let us know how it turns out.

    Rainbow Trout Stuffed with Lemon & Dill
    A simple, rustic dish that any weekend recreational fisherman can execute, yet one which I feature on my menu at NYY Steak because of its clean flavors, which gives the dish a certain simple refinement that chefs everywhere yearn to capture. —Chef Robert Gelman