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  • February 5, 2014

    Cooking Wild Game: The Most Common Mistakes

    By David Draper


    CC image from Flickr

    In case you haven’t heard, I’ll be appearing at the upcoming Pheasant Fest in Milwaukee next weekend, Feb. 14-16. Throughout the three-day game bird extravaganza, I, along with Hank Shaw and Tovar Cerulli, will be presenting seminars on wild-game cooking. If you’re in the area, or are nearby, I’d encourage you to stop by — and if you happen to see me or are able to attend a seminar, be sure to say hello. A complete schedule of the event can be found here.

  • January 31, 2014

    Food Fight Super Bowl Edition: Smoked Goose vs. Squirrel Nachos

    By David Draper

    The Big Game is the perfect time to break out some, well, big game. Of course small game, such as squirrels, or birds or fresh-caught fish are worthy additions to your Sunday spread as well. If you still need a little inspiration for your Super Bowl party, I offer up a couple of suggestions via this week's Food Fight.

  • January 10, 2014

    Food Fight Friday: Goose with Cumberland Sauce vs Venison Barbacoa

    By David Draper

    It’s no secret that Hank Shaw has had an impact on the way we cook wild game today. As evidence, both readers this week found their respective recipe on Shaw’s blog, Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, so I thought it would be a good fight to see which one gets the nod.

  • January 3, 2014

    Food Fight Friday: Antelope Lasagna vs Turkey Leg Enchiladas

    By David Draper

    When Nathan Carson’s Food Fight entry showed up in my inbox last week, I knew I had the perfect competition for a photo of my own. This week’s pan-to-pan combat highlights what the Wild Chef blog is all about. Though we often go for the backstraps and bacon-wrapped whatever, I try to emphasize there are so many different, yet easy, things you can do with game meat. It’s nice to get fancy every once in a while and show off your skills, but for the day-to-day cook, often the best thing to do is incorporate game meat into tried and true classics like these two dishes.

  • November 20, 2013

    Why You Should Drink Beaujolais This Thanksgiving

    By David Draper


    CC image from Flickr

    When it comes to wine, those of the Beaujolais family (not to be confused with F&S Gun Nut Phil Bourjaily’s family) have become synonymous with Thanksgiving, so much so it’s kind of cliché. While I generally don’t tend to run with the in-crowd, this is the one time of year I pile on the Beaujolais bandwagon, and here’s why.

    1. I’m cheap. Beaujolais are generally cheap as well, especially those of the Nouveau appellation. A bottle of George Duboeuf shouldn’t set you back more than $10-14. Same goes for my favorite, a Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages. Expect to spend about $20 or more for anything of the Cru designation.

  • November 6, 2013

    'Charlie Trotter's Meat and Game' Cookbook

    By David Draper

    If you have any interest in the culinary world at all, and I suspect you do since you are reading a blog titled Wild Chef, you probably heard that famed Chicago chef and restaurateur Charlie Trotter passed away yesterday. He was 54.

    Until it closed last year after a successful 25-year run, Trotter’s eponymous restaurant was a sort of mecca for both food-lovers and chefs. Even this country-bumpkin in western Nebraska had heard of the place and dreamed of dining there someday.

    What I didn’t know until doing a little research this morning is that Trotter also penned a wild-game cookbook called, not surprisingly, “Charlie Trotter’s Meat & Game.” A quick list of the recipes included shows that the book is right in the wheelhouse of all Wild Chef readers:

  • November 4, 2013

    Product Review: Carnivore Cutting Board

    By David Draper

    I’ve cut deer, fileted fish and cleaned birds and other game on a variety of surfaces, from flat rocks at waterside to flimsy plywood perched on rickety saw horses. Of all those, the best place I’ve found to butcher is the back of my truck.

    A truck’s tailgate, at least that of a late-model F-150, is the perfect height for me to skin and slice, either while standing or seated on a tall stool. I can usually cut an entire deer on a tailgate or clean a limit of ducks and geese without too much strain on an aging back, something I can’t say about most other locations. Of course, some folks might be lucky enough to have a dedicated space for butchering, or an understanding spouse who doesn’t mind blood, fur or feathers on the kitchen counter, but until I get either of these, I’ll stick with my Ford.

  • October 17, 2013

    How To Bring Ducks Back From Canada

    By David Draper

    As I write this, I'm just making my way back from McLennan, Alberta, heading down Canada Highway 49 with Field & Stream contributor and Alberta native Brad Fenson at the wheel. He and I have been up here testing out the new 3 1/2-inch Browning A5 shotgun and Federal's Black Cloud High Velocity and Close Range loads on the area's waterfowl. Although we hit a lull in the migration, I'm happy to report both the gun and loads performed as expected on the birds called into range by our guide Kevin McNeil of Blue Sky Outfitters.

  • October 14, 2013

    Recipe: How to Cook Port-Glazed Dove Breasts

    By David Draper

    Ed Mazzeo, assistant manager of shotguns for Remington, related this recipe to me over dinner last week. Mazzeo and I were discussing favorite quail recipes (mine was southern-fried and gravy-soaked, naturally) when he offered up this little gem for doves. I didn't have a pad handy, so caveat emptor as I scribbled it down later, well after I'd dipped into the bourbon. It's also untested, but Mazzeo is a man of taste—as evidenced by his bow tie, original Hummer, and extensive collection of James Bond-related memorabilia, so I don't doubt the recipe, only my memory of it. I didn't ask Mazzeo for his preferred apertif for the dish, but I'm betting he'd have offered up a vesper, Bond's preferred cocktail order rather than the better-known martini, shaken not stirred.

  • October 7, 2013

    Cookbook Review: Hank Shaw Keeps it Real With 'Duck, Duck, Goose'

    By David Draper

    As I write this, hunter, angler, forager, and blogger Hank Shaw is somewhere in the upper Midwest, cruising along on an epic around-the-country tour to promote his newest cookbook “Duck, Duck, Goose," which was released just last week. I think most Wild Chef readers are familiar with Shaw and his epicurean approach to feasting on nature's bounty. His Website, Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook, is probably the preeminent source on the Internet for wild-game cooking and, as the title belies, his new cookbook focuses solely on his passions for waterfowl.