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springerguy

Woodcock recipes?

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springerguy

Hello all,

I'm looking for woodcock recipies.  What's your fav?

Thanks!

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Brad Eden

My favorite wildgame appetizer:

Breast out several Woodcock and cut the breasts in thirds. Wrap each piece in half a strip of bacon. Heat up a George Foreman Lean Mean Grilling Machine. (can broil in oven too). Broil til bacon is just getting crispy. Put toothpick in each piece and serve. Broil the delicious little white meat legs too.

Check out the original Wildgame Recipes thread on this Forum for more Woodcock recipes. Now that I have a good amount of recipes I'm gonna organize them and create a permanent Recipe page on the site.

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Guest

Brad,

Excellent recipe!

Even better if you toss the woodcock to the dog that found them and eat just the bacon.

best,

jim

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Guest
I like to make woodcock by cutting out the breasts and then cutting them again so that they are thin. I first cook a whole potato cutting in half and slicing evenly  cooking in REAL butter and season to taste with pepper ans salt. I put that aside in aluminum foil to keep warm. Then more butter and at least 1/2 of a medium onion cut to 1/4" thickness. Cook onion in REAL butter until it softens. As soon as it softens add woodcock, stir constantly about 2 min, season to taste with salt and pepper. Uncover potatos  and server woodcock with onions and butterfried potatos hot. This is a single serving add one bakers potatos per additional serving and 1/2 medium onion and 3 woodcock per/person.. Enjoy. I even got my father a long time woodcock hater to like it...

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rosies dad
Since we arent killing dozens of the little critters anymore, I prepare them as Hourderves (No spell check here). My favorite is to fry deboned breast meat to just pink, season with garlic salt, consume HOT and with good wine or beer. Toast the little fellows who made a great hunt and enjoy. :D

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Guest

Woodcock pate

per pound of woodcock (10-12 breasts)

1 lb butter

2 garlic cloves

1 tsb pepper

2 tbsp whisky

Melt butter, add garlic (crushed), add pepper.

Cook breasts until pink inside and throw all in the blender.

whip it up and put in ramakins to cool. eat or freeze within 24 hrs.

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BillyBoy

Woodcock, the filet mignon of the game world.

Hoover, sounds EXCELLENT. I've gotta try it.

My favorite thing to do is as little as possible. I pluck all of mine because keeping the fat is so important in making them succulent and tasty, and cook 'em whole or split because bones make 'em more succulent, too. I season with salt and pepper and either roast very hot for 5-7 minutes in an oven or on the grill, or, my new favorite way, slow roast at 250 for 20 minutes or so (just prick or cut to see if they're done). Done is a matter of taste, of course. I like 'em rare or, at the very most, medium rare. Slow roasting is great because it's almost impossible to overcook 'em. Then I like to make a sauce, particularly port wine sauce made with port (duh), butter, currant jelly, salt and pepper. I like the legs best.

My favorite of all the birds that I've eaten, including grouse!

Onthefly, We had a woodcock dinner and tried a piece out on my friend's dog. She spit it out! I took it away from her and ate it myself. What's the matter with that dog?!

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Guest

For those that dont relish the full flavor of Woodcock, basically take Brads recipie and add one little (or 2) twist.

I will typically wrap 1" x 2" cube of breast meat and a slice of halepeno pepper in a piece of bacon and cook over a wood fire.  You still get the flavor of woodcock, but not as pronounced.

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Dennis Walrod

Hello again...

I sautee' woodcock breasts (also deer liver, but not for the same meal) in a spoonful or two of sesame oil.  This adds an interesting "herbal" flavor to the meat, plus because sesame oil has a very low "smoke temperature", you can quickly brown the breasted meat on the outside while maintaining rare meat on the inside.  I also have found that slices of ripe avocado (salted and peppered) go nicely with woodcock breast. That's a great combination of textures and flavors...the word "subtle" does not apply here! Consequently, a dry red wine provides the needed balance.

Dennis

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Vermonster

I have copied the following from Wayne Nish, who is a fellow hunter and owns the restaurant March in NYC.  This was posted by Mr. Nish on another BB, so I don't feel too bad repeating it here.  Lot's of work, but maybe a good thing to try some rainy Sunday when the covers are swamped.

VT

"March" Woodcock in Puff Pastry

_

This is a classic European recipe that probably has it's origins in ancient France. It uses all of the precious wild birds' bounty, as the main feature, a sauce made from its' carcass, and garnish from its entrails. If you do not have access to a good puff pastry shell, such as those from Voilá, or Pepperidge Farms, you can substitute thick sliced white or sourdough bread, fried in butter. Just cut a round out before frying. Cut out a flat round, or take out the center to make a case.

8 North American, or 4 European woodcock, plucked and cleaned

¼ cup Cognac

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 shallots, peeled and sliced

5 cloves of garlic, peeled and lightly crushed

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

4 bay leaves

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1 bunch flat leafed parsley

4 cups chicken stock

A day in advance of serving, cut off the woodcocks legs and thighs, each in one piece, with a small paring knife. Cutting along the top of each breastbone, cut off each breast half, cover tightly with plastic food film, and refrigerate, until ready to use. Remove the entrails of each bird (hearts and livers included), and discard the gizzard, which may contain sand. Chop the entrails finely, place in a small ceramic or stainless steel bowl, and stir in the Cognac, and cover tightly with plastic food film and reserve, refrigerated.

Chop the carcasses into one inch pieces, or smaller. Preheat a 6 quart saucepan, add the olive oil, shallots, garlic, peppercorns, coriander seeds, bay leaves, fresh thyme, parsley, and the chopped carcasses. Cook, over low heat for 3 minutes, and the chicken stock. Simmer for three hours. Let cool, strain the solids out, and reduce to 1 cup.

2 tablespoons sea salt

2 cups rendered duck fat *

2 shallots, peeled and sliced

5 cloves of garlic, peeled and lightly crushed

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

4 bay leaves

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1 bunch flat leafed parsley

Sprinkle the sea salt over the woodcock legs. In a 6 quart saucepan, add the duck fat, shallots, garlic, peppercorns, coriander seeds, bay leaves, fresh thyme, parsley, sea salt, and the woodcock legs and thighs. Simmer for three hours, or until the legs are tender to the touch. Let cool in the fat to room temperature. Drain the legs on paper towels, and reserve until ready to use. Discard the fat, and the solids.

2 tablespoons sweet butter

1 shallot, peeled and finely diced

1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely diced

1 teaspoon sea salt

the reduced game stock

the reserved entrails in Cognac

Melt the butter in a small saucepan, and add the shallots, garlic and salt. Cook over a low heat for 3 minutes, or until translucent and soft. Add the stock, and bring to a simmer. Gently stir in the entrails. Taste to correct for seasoning, and set aside in a warm place.

8 baked puff pastry shells

4 ounces wild watercress (preferably from a stream near where the birds were taken), or arugula

the reserved sauce

the reserved woodcock breasts

the reserved woodcock legs

1 tablespoon sweet butter

Preheat a small sauté pan. Add the olive oil. Lightly salt and pepper the breasts, and place them skin side down in the pan. Sauté the breasts for about 1 minute, turn and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove from the pan and drain. Carve each breast half into 4 slices. Add the legs to the same pan skin side down and brown lightly. Turn and brown on the other side. Remove from the pan and drain. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel and add the butter. When melted, add the watercress over high heat to wilt rapidly. Remove from the pan immediately, and drain.

On each of 4 warm dinner plates, place 2 puff pastry shells. Place an equal amount of wilted watercress inside each shell. Spoon an equal amount of sauce on top of each one. Arrange 2 woodcock legs standing up towards the back inside each pastry shell, and tuck 2 sliced breast halves into each pastry shell.

Serve immediately.

* Duck fat is available from D'Artagnan. (tel 1 800 DARTAGNAN)

Alternatives to using duck fat may be chicken fat, pork fat, beef fat, or vegetable oil, such as peanut or corn oil.

Makes four entrée portions

© Wayne Nish 2004

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Ben Hong
Props to Wayne Nish and I do admire and respect him, but after the 15 minutes needed to read the recipe and two hours to amass all the ingredients together, I just lost my appetite. :O

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Vermonster

I'm with you Ben.  I make a very quick version in the wood stove at camp.

Pre-made pastry dough from grocery store

Nice sharp cheddar cheese (Cabot Hunters a fav)

Smoked bacon

Meat from cooked woodcock (usually just sauted breasts as my wife likes the legs all to herself and cooks them sort of how Wayne describes)

Wrap woodcock meat, piece of bacon and cheese in dough.  Put in oven, cook until brown.  Serve with cold beer to tired bird hunters pior to main course of grouse fajitas.

VT

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Guest

I make grouse and woodcock only one way. NO NOT OVERNIGHT IN A CROCKPOT.

Heat cast iron pan until super hot(oil smoking hot). Leave heat up all the way. Roll a tablespoon of olive oil around pan, turn on overhead fan. Drop boneless half beasts of grouse that have been rolled in Montreal steak seasoning into pan. Take whole bone in woodcock breasts and legs rolled in steak seasoning drop in pan. Break breast bone of woodcock with back of spatula. Cook woodcock breasts until medium/medium rare(happens FAST). EAT. Cook woodcock legs and grouse breasts until pink is just gone. EAT. Then serve family Mac and Cheese.

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Ben Hong

Grouseguy just hit the nail on the head with his emphasis on high sustained heat. I just sear woodcock or grouse in  olive oil, some butter, minced garlic and thyme or sage and flame it off with  a shot of red wine mixed with a bit of either cognac/rum/whisky. Simple is best and the pan has got to be HOT. Takes me all of 3 mins. for woodcock and chunks of grouse after the pan is brought up to heat. Serve on noodles or rice.

This is a basic recipe that I use and there are many variations on this theme; want more juice? add a shot of light cream or plain yoghurt; want more tang? add a shot of balsamic vinegar; to get a more fruity finish? add a spoon of blackberry or apple jelly or some fruit juice. Just don't confuse the taste nor mask the main ingredient and taste as you cook.

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Guest
One trick I have learned with game is to cook onions, mushrooms, garlic and/or vegatables in the pan first. Remove or push aside. Never cook the meat in a sauce or liquid, remove bird meat and add wine(cream etc) etc to pan and stir with veggie matter. Remove and place on the the meat/poultry. This greatly reduces toughness.

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