Mom, I shot a squirrel!
Some of you may know that my son keeps a pellet gun in his room (not loaded, safety on). Since we moved to town he has been on the lookout for the pesky squirrel that feasts at our bird feeder daily. At first we thought, it would be a great way to keep them away, but it has become his ultimate goal. It's a full on send it to shoot this bane of our existence.
New Year's Eve, he did just that. As he made the necessary adjustments to get the best shot, he nailed it, it fell to the ground....twitching.....it was terrible. He was excited, then immediately filled with torment as it twitched. My daughter cried and I was desperate for him to put it out of its misery. Finally after a few more shots, and by few I mean six, Niles came out on top.
So, what do we now? The phrase, "you kill it, you eat it" is something that we believe in. This meant that the squirrel would have to be cleaned. Ironically, Matt was hunting and tracking a deer so we had to consult Google. Niles found a YouTube video of how to skin a squirrel, we called our neighbor for backup (thanks Bean), and the party began, literally, because it was New Year's Eve.
After a week in a vacuum seal, it was time to find a recipe. After looking (and laughing) through Pinterest, I found the below recipes and I finally settled on spatchcock BBQ squirrel because I had the ingredients in the house already. Did you know there are even paleo recipes for squirrel? I really wanted to make the Drunken Squirrel with Pumpkin Dumplings, but I had no pumpkin.
Don't you just love the pictures for each recipe pin? My favorite is the illustration of the squirrel in pieces, head, tail, and all being tossed into a sauce pan. It actually looks like a rat, maybe squirrel is rat? Anyway, what is spatchcock you ask as I did? It basically means that you break the ribcage so that it lies flat, throw a marinade on it for 12+ hours, and then grill it. Quite easy, and quite tasty.
I am quite adventurous with food, but this was my first time cooking with a whole game animal. Usually my venison is already cleaned, cut, and packaged for me. What I learned is that some of the features look like miniature human features, it cooks like duck, and it tastes like chicken.
So, the next time your son or daughter hollers "mom, I shot a squirrel!" I've listed a very easy recipe below, straight from my favorite place, Pinterest. And another thing, those of you that have kids that play with mine, I promise, we ask every child that comes to our house if they know how to use a gun, just kidding! We practice hunter safety, and I am ALWAYS looking out our windows, hiding behind bushes, pretending I am getting something from the car, etc. to make sure the kids are safe.