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Thread: Prairie chickens

  1. #11
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    Oct 2010
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    Mineral Point,WI
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    182

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    I think I came across one in SD one time but while I was trying to identify it, GONE !!. I guess I should have shot first.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    20 miles south of Ft. Worth, Tx
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    383

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mill Creek View Post
    I've shot two in my life. Second one to confirm that I hadn't just messed up cooking the first one. We usually get a couple pointed every year here in KS. I'll not shoot another.
    Yep, exactly.

    What I can't figure out is that they market hunted them and shipped them east in the millions. Jeez...I must be TERRIBLE at cooking them.

    Tympanuchus cupido was once as iconic an American bird as the turkey is now. Legendary at the table, prairie chicken was one of the meals Mark Twain pined for when stuck on an extended trip to Europe. It’s been said that Twain based the character Jim from Huckleberry Finn on a waiter who was so impressed that Twain had ordered an entire prairie chicken that he sat down and began a conversation with the author.

    Millions of chickens were once shipped via railroad to the markets of Chicago, New York and elsewhere. Prairie chicken recipes were in all the cookbooks of the age. The bonanza seemed endless. Until it wasn’t. Even after the era of market hunting ended in 1918, the prairie chicken continued to struggle....Before the boom, in 1821, a pair of chickens sold for the astonishing price of $5 in New York — that’s $91.50 in today’s dollars. https://honest-food.net/hunting-prairie-chickens/
    Last edited by Chestle; 07-30-2019 at 06:42 PM.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    20 miles south of Ft. Worth, Tx
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    OK, I got to feeling so bad about not being able to cook a Prairie Chicken correctly, I went looking for recipes from the time when they were considered a delicacy and got market hunted for that reason.

    I found two. Good hunting! (Not sure if I'll make a point to find one but maybe I'll stumble across one and give one of these a try.)

    I found these here: https://books.google.com/books?id=ar...recipe&f=false

    The book is called "Twain's Feast: Searching for America's Lost Foods in the Footsteps of Samuel Clemens"

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  4. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    IaKota
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    1,051

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    image.jpeg

    If you really want to see chickens, make a trip up in the spring and visit the drumming grounds. It was definitely one of the coolest things that I've done in the outdoors.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    IaKota
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    1,051

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    image.jpeg

    I freelanced my visit to the lek on private ground, But there are plenty of places on the grasslands that are set up with blinds ..

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by reddog View Post
    image.jpeg

    I freelanced my visit to the lek on private ground, But there are plenty of places on the grasslands that are set up with blinds ..
    Way cool. thanks for sharing.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Minnesota
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    336

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    I treat sharptail breasts like a cheap steak. Marinade in your favorite concoction (chipotle, cilantro, seasonings & canola oil for me) at least overnight. Cook to medium rare on a hot charcoal grill. Let rest for 10 minutes and slice thin against the grain. Should work for Prairie Chicken too.

    Edit: doesn't hurt to let them age refrigerated in a mild brine for 4 or 5 days either.
    Last edited by Downtown Bang!; 07-31-2019 at 07:01 PM.
    Chasing Roosters with a flushing dog on public land. As God intended.......

  8. #18

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    Should work for Prairie Chicken too.

    You would think so...but that hasn't been my experience. I cook sharpies same as you. Good idea on the brine, but I'm still not shooting another. Too many other birds I actually enjoy eating.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    20 miles south of Ft. Worth, Tx
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    383

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    Just about everything recent I read while I looked for those older Prairie Chicken recipes essentially said Prairie Chickens should be OK with any of your favorite standard grouse recipes. I remain skeptical.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    203

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    We have shot a lot of chickens and sharptail grouse in SD. Local told me to salt and pepper then grill to medium. This is absolutely outstanding way to cook these birds. I know rare fowl sounds crazy but my family and I have ate many this way, even my young kids love them.

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