Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A woodcock


Someone gave me something beautiful the other day. And I ate it.


A woodcock is a small game bird, with a wondrous long beak. Its plumage is designed more for camouflage than for showing off, but that beak is amazing. Long and slender, it is used to probe and search for earthworms, and the top half of it is flexible. You will never see them for sale so a gift from a hunter is a rare prize.

This is one of those birds that you can, apparently, eat insides and all. However the Orvis website suggests that you need to have three Martinis first – maybe to face up to the innards – and that you cook your bird for 25 minutes in a moderate oven. The Shooter said he wouldn’t eat the bits himself and I decided that neither would I. Roasted for twelve minutes in a hot oven it makes a meal for one person, with a taste that is rich and deep but not over gamey. Maybe the only time in my life I will get to taste it.

9 comments:

Richard said...

I was given four woodcock last Christmas by my father-in-law. We too deliberated over eating the inards - and wimped out in the end. They were fantastic - though mine were getting pretty high by the time we got to eat them so they were pretty gamey!
Simply roasted with parsnip chips on Christmas Eve...

I hope to get my hands on some again!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

How very interesting! I've eaten many things in my life, but woodcock isn't one of them... Think you made the right decision to decline the innards!

June said...

Hi Richard

I hung mine for four days and it was just as high as I would have liked - another day or so and it would have been a bit much for me too I think!

Hope someone makes a comment about eating the innards!

Annemarie said...

I haven't heard of anyone eating the innards, either. Perhaps you'll need more than 3 martinis to get it to happen.

Toffeeapple said...

What, ALL the innards? I wouldn't mind the usual things that you'd get in a chicken, say, but surely not everything?

June said...

Toffeeapple

All the innards except the gizzard. Hugh F-W says they are nice and creamy! http://www.rivercottage.net/SeasonalRecipes/Default.aspx?artid=526&cid=138

June said...

I realise this URL didn't read
http://www.rivercottage.net/SeasonalRecipes/
Default.aspx?artid=526&cid=138

June said...

Hugh F-W also suggests splitting their little heads and eating their little pea sized brains.

Toffeeapple said...

Well, at least there wouldn't be too many calories to worry about! Especially the brain.

 
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