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  • July 25, 2012

    What Recipes and Cooking Tips Would You Want in a Duck Cookbook?

    By David Draper

    I think most of you have heard of Hank Shaw, the man behind the inspiring and informative blog Hunter Angler Gardener Cook and author of the book Hunt, Gather, Cook. If you haven’t taken a look at either, you owe it to yourself as a wild-game cook to do so. As I’ve mentioned before, Hank is at the forefront of fish and wild game cookery, and he does a brilliant job of bridging the gap between hunters who cook and cooks who may or may not hunt, but are at least intrigued by the idea of locally and humanely sourced foods. He’s one guy I would love to share a dinner table (and duck blind) with someday.

    Earlier this week Hank dropped me an e-mail asking for my help. Well, more accurately, asking for your help. He recently inked a deal to write what he hopes will be the definitive guide to cooking waterfowl, including both wild and domestic ducks and geese, and wants to know what you think should be included. Here’s what he’s looking for, from his blog post announcing the book deal:

  • April 13, 2012

    The Toast: A Review of Crown Royal Black

    By Colin Kearns

    Draper and I have been talking about adding another regular on the blog — something to help wash down all of the great game and fish that’s served here. So, we present The Toast. Every now and then we’ll bring reviews, recipes and stories of our favorite drinks (and, no, not all will be booze) to enjoy with a meal or just to celebrate a good day outdoors.

    I’ll kick The Toast off with some notes about a new whiskey I was lucky to enjoy over the last month: Crown Royal Black. I’m definitely more of a bourbon and rye guy, but I enjoy Canadian whiskey now and then. I’ve always liked classic Crown — but now I like Black more.

  • April 9, 2012

    Recipe: Smoked Turkey Legs

    By David Draper

    I had no pressing plans Saturday, so it was a perfect time to fire up the smoker. Plus, forever the optimist, I thought I needed to make a little room in the freezer in advance of this weekend’s turkey opener, and there were still some turkey legs* in there from last fall that needed to be cooked, or in this case, smoked.

    I started the process the night before by submerging three turkey legs in a gallon of Game Bird & Poultry Brine from Hi Mountain Seasonings. You can also make a simple brine by mixing ¼ cup each of kosher salt and sugar per quart of water, throwing in whatever additional seasonings and spices you like.

  • March 12, 2012

    How To Make Snow Goose Sandwiches

    By David Draper

    My post last Monday asking for the best way to cook snow geese got a wide range of responses, from the wise to the wise-ass. Not unexpectedly, the old grill-them-on-a-plank-then-throw-away-the-goose-and-eat-the-plank recipe came up a few times here and on the Field & Stream Facebook page.

    That joke was funny the first 754 times I’ve heard it, but now it’s just getting old. And it’s just plain wrong, no matter how it’s told. Of all the comments I got, Trey Osborn’s was the best: “Folks if you don’t like goose. DO NOT GO SHOOT THEM! Let the folks who will eat them shoot them.”

    I couldn’t agree more.

  • March 7, 2012

    My Five (and a Half) Favorite Books About Food

    by David Draper

    Throughout the history of the written word, there are many great scenes about or relating to food—from that forbidden apple in "Genesis" to a can of peaches in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. But as a genre, good writing solely about food is a bit harder to come by. Until recently, that is.

    Though the blogger-turned-book-writer fad of a few years back has slowed some, our food-obsessed world continues to crank out tomes of literature about food. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a good thing, even if you have to wade through the slush pile to find a few pearls, like these 5 ½ picks (listed in no particular order) that are among my favorite books about food.

    1. The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan: Whatever your feelings are about Pollan and his punditry, you have to hold some admiration for a man who went to such great lengths to learn where his (and ultimately our) food comes from. This book arguably kick-started our national obsession about food. I have loaned and gifted several copies, mostly to vegetarians.

  • March 5, 2012

    What’s the Best Way to Cook a Snow Goose?

    By David Draper

    When this blog gets posted on Monday morning, I hope to be laying under a storm of falling snow—geese that is. It’s that time of year. And though we don’t get the migration numbers the central flyway does, there are still a few birds to be found—or I hope so anyway. Hunting snow geese is always a fleeting game, especially this year when the snow line is somewhere north of North Dakota.

    I’ll be hunting near the South Platte River in northeastern Colorado, not far from where the river enters Nebraska. My partners will include good friend and Cabela’s communications manager, Joe Arterburn, and Camp Chef’s roving cook, Steve McGrath. Now Steve promises he has grand plans for some of the snow geese we’ll hopefully be bringing back to the lodge, but I’m looking for some good suggestions from our Wild Chef readers. If anyone knows what to do with a pile of snow geese, it’s you guys.

    Like most every other type of waterfowl, opinions on the palatability of snow geese vary widely—from virtually inedible to prime rib in the sky. I haven’t had enough experience with them to say, but I’m sure, just like ducks and Canada geese, it’s all in the preparation. So, how about it? What’s the best way to cook snow geese?

  • February 8, 2012

    Recipe: Dutch Oven Stuffed French Toast

    By Colin Kearns

    If you haven’t had breakfast yet, you might consider this delicious morning meal, courtesy of new Lodge Cast Iron Cooking cookbook. And, if you haven’t shared your favorite Dutch oven meal, get on it! The Wild Chef reader with the best-sounding dish will win a brand new Lodge Dutch oven.

    Stuffed French Toast


    - 1 French bread loaf, cut into 1-inch cubes
    - 1 dozen large eggs
    - 2 cups milk
    - 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    - 1⁄3 cup maple syrup
    - 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes and softened

  • February 8, 2012

    Valentine's Day Soup Recipe + Contest Winner Announced

    By David Draper

    Last week’s Super Bowl Snack contest garnered many great recipes, both here on the Wild Chef blog and on the Field & Stream Facebook page. As good as some of them sounded, I did have to disqualify a few for not following the rules. Though beer-can chicken is always good, that entry, as well as a few others, didn’t include wild game.

  • February 1, 2012

    Contest: What’s Your Best Super Bowl Snack?

    By David Draper

    There are a lot of great ways to get wild on Super Bowl Sunday. You could paint yourself in team colors, go streaking, and post the resulting video (and arrest) on YouTube. Or you could just dip into the larder and cook up a fish or wild-game inspired dish to share with your friends during the game. I’m not going to encourage you to do the former, but I will help you along with the latter by throwing a Super Bowl Snack Contest.

    Post your favorite fish or game dish below in the comments section below, along with a few sentences on why it’s the perfect food for this year’s Super Bowl party. The most creative idea will win a box of assorted cooking/food-related goodies from Camp Chef, Hi-Mountain Seasonings, Cabela’s, and other generous folks. To be eligible to win, post your entry by Saturday, February 4 at 6:00 p.m. MST. I’ll announce the winner next week.

  • January 30, 2012

    Recipe: Super Bowl Duck Spring Rolls

    By David Draper

    I know there are a lot of football fans who really care which team wins this Sunday’s Super Bowl. But me, I’m just in it for the food. While the rest of America roots for Peyton Manning’s less-funny brother or the guy who’s married to Gisele, I’ll be grazing the spread of cheese dips, bacon-wrapped goose bites, and sliders at the back of the room. I’ll also be judging friends’ reactions to my contribution to the party’s potluck: duck spring rolls.

    I first had a version of these at our annual wild game feed and have been looking for a good excuse to make them myself. The recipe I’m passing along calls for fresh duck breasts, but I’ve found spring rolls are also a great way to use up the crispy-skinned leftovers of a roast duck. The recipe also works with goose, venison, pheasant, or any game meat with just a little modification.