Toughest Squirrel Ever, But Awesome Flavor

Mike Islander

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Lowcountry, SC
Went camping Tuesday and had a nice organic free range tree rat for supper. For the first time I can remember I didn't get an instant kill. Blew out the front of the chest but didn't explode the heart. It scampered about 3 feet and died in seconds. Normally I get a head shot or blow out the chest/lungs, so they fall like a hammer.

Breaded and fried in olive oil, it was too tough to eat. I then boiled the browned meat for 30 minutes, and it was tenderish and better than the best chicken dark meat I've ever had.

First time this tough. Could the delayed death cause this? I cleaned it almost immediately and it sat skinned on a log in 40 degree weather for about four hours before cooking.
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Mike Islander

Mike Islander

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Joined
Aug 10, 2019
Messages
1,693
Location
Lowcountry, SC
Grey squirrel is by far my favorite game meat. Normally I freeze several and then fry or eat in a stew. Freezing tenderizes them a bit.

In the field they go straight into the pan. Most times a little chewy but very edible. This time was just far more tough. I now will consider fry-then-boil standard if I am able to have a campife. No way I would boil 30 minutes using gas. If gas only i think I'll start cutting in small strips.
 

HuntHarder

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Phoenix, Az
I have eaten many grey squirrels, and have NEVER had a tender one. I can not even believe you claim you have. We usually turn them into red chili any more.
 

long hunter

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Jul 27, 2021
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I par boil them first then fry, but the little beggars are still a bit chewy, just the nature of the beast, also you can fry, make a gravy with the drippings, put the squirrel back in the gravy and slow cook till a bit more tender then make some dumplings (bisquik works well) place in the skillet with the squirrel and gravy let it go until the dumplings are cooked. Good meal there.
 
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Mike Islander

Mike Islander

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2019
Messages
1,693
Location
Lowcountry, SC
I par boil them first then fry, but the little beggars are still a bit chewy, just the nature of the beast, also you can fry, make a gravy with the drippings, put the squirrel back in the gravy and slow cook till a bit more tender then make some dumplings (bisquik works well) place in the skillet with the squirrel and gravy let it go until the dumplings are cooked. Good meal there.
You just float the dumplings on top of the stew? Lid on, right?
 
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