Saturday, November 8, 2014

Ducks and Pheasant and Geese, Oh My!

The majority of our meals come from the land and the water that surrounds us.  But during a few special months of the year, our meals come from the AIR.

From my Great-Great Grandpa George and Grandma Ethel...

to my dad and brother...

we enjoy bird hunting, and LOVE bird eating.

Dad used to hand harvest wild rice every Summer, and it would be used in this recipe for "Partridge Hot Dish". Wild rice can be purchased in the grocery store, just look for the kind that isn't commercially made. Commercially made wild rice is almost black in color, and tastes NOTHING like the brown wild rice that is hand harvested. Believe me, it's worth every extra penny to get the real stuff.  

This hot dish can be made with any kind of bird; grouse, pheasant, goose, duck. Some boneless chicken breasts would even work in a pinch. As long as you have a bed of wild rice to nestle it into, it will be wonderful.

Crack open a can of cranberry sauce to serve along side this for a little zing.

Partridge Hot Dish                              Printable Version

Two birds, cleaned and cut up into chunks
Olive oil
1 c. onions, diced
1 c. celery, diced
1 c. cooked wild rice
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 c.water
1 can peas
1 can mushrooms
4 Tbsp. soy sauce

Measure 1/2 cup of wild rice into a large glass bowl. Wash and rinse it with cold water until the water is no longer cloudy.  Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a medium pot. Add the wild rice, then reduce the heat to maintain a low boil. Cook until the rice is tender, about 45 minutes.  Drain the rice in a fine-mesh colander so as not to lose any grains down the drain.  Pour 1 cup of the cooked rice into a large bowl. You can use what's left for another dish, or just sprinkle it with some salt and pepper and eat it as a side.

In a medium skillet, add olive oil, onions and celery and cook until both are soft and nicely browned.  Add this to the bowl of wild rice. Stir in the cream of mushroom soup, water, peas, mushrooms, and soy sauce.

Brown the partridge in olive oil.  Stir it into the wild rice mixture.

Coat a 2 qt. baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and spread the mixture into it. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour.  Serve with cranberry sauce on the side.

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