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  • April 7, 2014

    All That Remains: How to Make Game Stock

    By David Draper

    One thing you can do to amp your kitchen credibility quickly is learning to make stock—a flavorful cooking liquid that forms the base of many soups, sauces, and other recipes. Making homemade stock from venison bones or bird carcasses not only give your favorite dishes, such as the duck pho in the photo, a flavor boost, but you’ll be get every last scrap of use from your bird or game animal.

  • March 10, 2014

    What's the Strangest Thing You've Ever Eaten?

    By David Draper

    A few weeks ago I was up in Milwaukee, speaking about food at the 2014 Pheasant Fest. I ate plenty of good food while I was there, and had a couple beers of course, but by far and away the best meal I had was at Hinterland. I can’t recommend it enough. Along with Hank Shaw and several friends from Pheasants Forever, we were lucky enough to secure the chef’s table, and gave ourselves to the whims of Chef Dan Van Rite and the rest of his staff.

    After an initial appetizer of roasted Brussels sprouts, I don’t think we saw another vegetable for about eight, or maybe nine, courses. Instead, we got salami, beef heart tartare, oysters, elk loin and I don’t even remember what else. It was all amazing and by the end I was in physical pain from the food, drink, and laughter we enjoyed over several hours.

    One thing I did not get while I was there, but was featured on the menu, was the Pan Seared Duck Testes.

  • January 6, 2014

    Any Ice-Fishing Boilo Drinkers Out There?

    By David Draper

    I’m a reformed ice fisherman. Reformed as in I don’t spend nearly every waking winter moment either on the hard water or planning for my ice-fishing trip like I used to. Don’t get me wrong, I still love to sit on a frozen lake hoping to pull a big fish through a small hole (which sounds like a metaphor for my current career). I just don’t get out there as much these days. When I was an ice angler, I liked to take along a little nip to keep me warm, usually a bottle of Dr. McGillicuddy’s Mentholmint Schnapps.

  • December 11, 2013

    Holiday Gift Guide: Eight Great Knives for a Wild Chef

    By David Draper and Colin Kearns

    Whether for hunting camp or the kitchen, sporting cooks are always on the lookout for their next favorite knife. There's just something about a good blade that demands attention, but not just any knife will do. Everyone has their personal preference when it comes to sizes, style, and even looks. So, if you're shopping for a wild chef this season or making your own Christmas list, take note of some of our personal favorites that we're hoping to find under the tree.

  • November 13, 2013

    Apalachicola Oysters Becoming a Rare Treat

    By David Draper

    I spent this past weekend on Florida’s Apalachicola River for a hunting story you’ll find in Field & Stream next fall. When I asked my host there, a fish guide nicknamed Wood Duck, about picking up a bag of oysters before we headed upriver to camp, his reply was straightforward: “Man, oysters are getting scarce around here. And expensive.”

  • 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 4, 2013

    Food Fight Friday: Baked White Bass vs Barbecued Honker

    By David Draper

    This time of year a lot of sportsmen get so focused on hunting they forget fall is one of the best times to go fishing. Not Wild Chef reader nuclear_fisher, who sent in a photo of the white bass he boated for this week’s Food Fight. His opponent, reader Pat Chapin, prefers the goose fields of fall and his dish reflects that passion. Each looks good enough that I might vote for a surf-n-turf combo.

  • October 1, 2013

    Making a Damascus Kitchen Knife

    By David Draper

    If you haven’t heard of Adam Perry-Lang, take a few moments to do a little research. The chef-turned-pitmaster has a ton of great info on advanced techniques and recipes for barbecuing meat, which can all be translated to wild game. You can find them on his Website, on YouTube, and in his three books.

  • September 13, 2013

    Food Fight Friday: Bluegill Curry vs Blackened Catfish

    By David Draper

    I know it’s hunting season—or close to it—but as Field & Stream’s Senior Editor Joe Cermele points out in the newest issue of the magazine, fall is the perfect time to go fishing. There are fewer people on the water, but there are still plenty of big, hungry fish. If those aren’t reasons enough, maybe a fish-centric Food Fight Friday will spur you to get on the water this weekend.

  • September 3, 2013

    My Day of Sharing Wild Game with the Less Fortunate

    By David Draper

    As I’ve written about here on the blog before, hunters helping out the homeless and hungry is one of the issues I’m most passionate about. With just a little effort and, yes, some financial costs, I truly believe hunters have the ability to make a significant impact on those who are less fortunate through venison donations.

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