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Mar 11, 2008 10:32 AM

Red Squirrell Recipes?

I know this sounds odd, but we are plagued with very destructive, red squirrels. Locally they are know as red tree rats. They destroy our garage, destroy our "squirrel-prof bird feeders, have eaten through wires in the attic and regularly trash our lakeside cabin. I have now Have-a-heart trapped 23 of them and transported them to parks and garden sections of box stores. Either nature deplores a vacuum or they just keep coming home to mama. I hunted and ate a lot of big meaty gray squirrels as a kid and loved the rich dark meat. Has anyone ever eaten scrawny little red squirrels? The hind legs look the size of a meaty chicken drumstick. Any ideas? Really!

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  1. If they're a little scrawny, perhaps you can fill up on a mess of them in Brunswick stew.

    1. In my neck of the woods they are called Fox squirrels....The gray ones...Cat squirrels.
      The fox squirrels normally being the larger of the two. If they are scrawny maybe there are too many for the food supply available. As for as cooking they are interchangable. Quickly browned, and s-l-o-w-l-y simmered in a brown gravy, lots of onions, peppers, etc...served over biscuits is Good Eats!


      3 Replies
      1. re: Uncle Bob

        No red squirrels are 1/4 the size of gray ones. I've also considered getting a mess of the hind legs in the freexer and doing a real slow BBQ. Stew is a regulat.

        1. re: Passadumkeg

          Then they ain't Southern Fox Squirrels...1/4 size of a gray cat squirrel would be a nice fat mouse........

          1. re: Uncle Bob

            where I am in upstate NY we have fox squirrels, grey squirrels and red squirrels, red squirrels are much smaller than grey squirrels, there maybe twice the size of a chipmunk. I would think they would be good to eat, I hunt and eat fox and grey squirrels, but have never bothered with the red squirrels because of there small size, however I would imagine they would taste simmilar to a grey or fox squirrel.

      2. I ate squirrel as a kid, but can't remember much about it. I know I have considered the same thing myself. I have trouble keeping peaches and apples on the trees and they destroy my bird feeders. I would assume (without Uncle Bob coming right out and saying it) that they are tough and must be braised a long time to be edible. I ate a dove the other day. I cooked it fast and it was quite the chewy breast!
        What's the flavor of squirrel like?
        When someone starts talking about "lots of onions" I think back to the time I did a French recipe for carp..... it still tasted awful. A terrible waste of perfectly good onions and red wine!

        2 Replies
        1. re: Scargod

          Funny, in many ways like dove breast, very dark meat, very flavorful.

          1. re: Scargod

            No! No! The young squirrel is very tender...Older can be a little tough.
            Fried, but not over cooked is fine. I just like the biscuits and graaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaavy!! Hahahahaha!

            Next Dove Breast...Wrap in bacon...grill till just barely done.


          2. I have had squirrel splayed out and deep fat fried like chicken. Pretty good if you could get over the visual. Of course, it is no different from a spatchcocked chicken so . . .

            2 Replies
            1. re: danhole

              Hah! Looked on Chow's recipe area and NO squirel recipes! Imagine that!
              I think with all the references to "rat" it is not cool to eat them. Plus, they're so cute. (roll eyes) Then there's the fact that they can be a little challenging to shoot. I have a .177 cal. air rifle.
              I know I saw a stew recipe (somewhere) but I'm on a Mexican flavor binge. I just got a bunch of different chilis, epazote, etc. and I found a store with chipotles in adobo and chorizo..... so I wonder if there are ways to cook them "Latino style"?

              1. re: Scargod

                Sii! Esse, cook them in a pozole recipe for 10 hrs.!

            2. There's a ton of receipes for squirrel but the key is skinning them. There are two problems: 1. The skin is very, very difficult to peel from the flesh (unlike a rabbit} and, 2, you must skin the animal without any hair getting stuck to the flesh. It's next to impossible to remove. I seriously would advise you to get an "old timer" or perhaps a DNR ranger to show you how to clean them. If you don't, all's you'll end up with is a bunch of unusable meat. I'm serious.

              1 Reply
              1. re: SonyBob

                No I string up the gutted squirilito from the cellar joists and use a razor blade and veeerrry carefully skin them, no problem skinning. I got a slick & fast method for deer too.