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Oct 22, 2011 01:42 PM

How many cookbooks contain too many Duck, Goose, Rabbit and Quail recipes

I just bought without really looking too closely "Essential Pepin," but I'm a little afraid to look further for fear of the finding just too many recipes that include Duck, Goose, Rabbit, Quail, to name a few, of the recipes I wouldn't cook.

Usually this is a good reason as to why I don't purchase a particular book. I suppose a similar reason (hyperbole) would be a vegetarian wouldn't purchase a book on beef.

In other words, do you NOT or will you NOT purchase a book because of too many recipes of these particular 'meats' Duck, Goodse, Rabbit and Quail.

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  1. We'll all have our own opinions about "how many" have "too many".

    Presumably if you don't cook, say, duck and rabbit, then you wouldnt want many recipes. On the other hand if, like me, you cook game regularly, then you'd want a lot of recipes.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Harters

      Harters, I added a last paragraph because I could tell my posting wasn't as specific as I wanted it to be.
      Thanks for your reply.

    2. I would like more recipes for duck, rabbit and quail, so no, for me 'too many' of those recipes is not a turn-off.

      1 Reply
      1. re: babette feasts

        +1 with babette,

        Love duck, rabbit and quail and would like more ideas for them.

        Goose, not so much because they are too big for a 1 - 2 person dinner.

        But I always enjoy reading recipes and learning about techniques and ideas even if it is not practical for me to cook them at this time.

      2. Duck, goose, rabbit and quail are some of the best meats and there is a reason why many chefs especially at more upscale places prefer to work with them over chicken etc. And I always hope that no cookbook author will dumb down any recipes whuch is definitely a reason for me not to buy a book.

        7 Replies
        1. re: honkman

          I have never thought of a recipe that didn't include duck, goose, rabit and quail as dumbing down a recipe book or as a result of their not being included, perhaps the intelligence of a purchaser who prefers not to have these meats included might be an issue. But that is an interesting idea.

          One aspect to my question (to me) is I've never run across anyone who has eaten duck, rabbit, and/or quail. Once in my lifetime, rabbit was eaten (1942; quail in 1988.)

          Perhaps it is the cultural, regional, socio-economic aspect of my up-bringing.

          1. re: Rella

            I have had duck a couple of times, and I have friends who have had lots of quail. Where I grew up we had lots of duck hunting areas, and lots of quail in the valleys. Most of the rabbits were jackrabbits which were not generally consumed.

            Personally I don't eat quail because I like having them come by the house everyday, and I love watching them in the yard. Another reason is that they are just too small for me, takes moe then one to make a meal.

            1. re: BIGGUNDOCTOR

              i cook duck and rabbit on a pretty frequent basis. duck legs (confit!!!) are one of my favorite proteins.

              quail not so much. too many lil bones.

              pepin and duck would be great imho.
              what is the book?

            2. re: Rella

              I meant that it would be disappointung with somebody like Pepin and his (French) background would choose to change recipes away from quail, duck, rabbit just for a bigger customer base. All these ingredients are nothing special for him especially coming from France.

              1. re: Rella

                You can always take the flavors in the recipes and adapt them to meats you do enjoy. Rabbit is lean and mild and you can substitute chicken, especially if it's something like a braise, chicken thighs will work just fine instead of rabbit quarters or duck legs, with a little adjustment. Duck is all dark meat and can stand up to stronger favors. If there is a sauce recipe paired with duck breast it might also go well with seared lamb chops. The book can still be useful to you if you can imagine a different meat, as long as the cut is appropriate for the cooking method.

                I'm guessing you do eat meat, is there something about those animals that disturbs you, like the cuteness of rabbits, or the smallness of quail? Are they taboo in your culture, or are you afraid you won't like them because you haven't tried them?

                1. re: babette feasts

                  It mightbalso be difficult to get some of these meats, depending on where one lives. In that case, such a book might simply not be practical. When I moved to my current location 8 years ago, my local "butcher" was the supermarket. Fortunately for me, in the past few years two local butchers, plus an organics-only store have opened. And literally yesterday, a purveyor at the market began offering rabbit meatn(and I am looking forward to making hasenpfeffer for the first time!)

                  That said, for me, well, I don't mind the "exotic" meat recipes, because reading them allows me to learn more. In fact, I enjoy those, even if I don't cook them! But if you have no use for those recipes, then I could see a cookbook offering them as delivering less "bang for your buck".

                2. re: Rella

                  My family in Ohio didnt eat these meats when I was growing up, although pheasant was eaten (my grandfather was a hunter)..

                  These particular meats are often home raised or raised on small farms for specialty or ethnic markets and that was not part of the lifestyle in the suburban community I grew up in (tho growing and cooking, from a big garden and high quality baking was part of it. I have come to love all of these meats, as well as fish and seafood, which were also not on the menu at home, in the time since I moved to NY 40 years ago, enjoy them all and cook them all. but perhaps if they are not familiar to you there is not an appeal.

                  There is also an economy issue - if you cannot shop in places like chinatowns, these items can be pricier than chicken or turkey, say. However, If you like dark meat chicken and turkey, you would be likely to like duck or goose - you might want to give them a try and then the recipes would not be extraneous any more.

              2. I replied

                One aspect to my question (to me) is I've never run across anyone who has eaten duck, rabbit, and/or quail."

                Now, I have run across persons on the internet that have eaten these meats and/or like them.

                I said:

                " Once in my lifetime, rabbit was eaten (1942; quail in 1988.)"

                I forgot the goose that I cooked sometime during the 1970's for Christmas.

                When I said,

                "Perhaps it is the cultural, regional, socio-economic aspect of my up-bringing."

                There were no 'taboos about eating these meats. There were plenty of animals around. We never talked about eating or not eating quail. I remember once my father skinned a rabbit. Everyone got rabbit fever (except me) 1942.

                My relative cooked quail for us - we picked out a few buckshots.

                These are meats I don't notice in a meat market, indeed if they are there, because I've not cared to search them out.

                Not to say that I don't agree that chefs love them and like to add them to their cookbooks, which is a part of their training and life-long chefology, but the recipes in books for these meats seem just like 'filler' recipes.

                And was wondering if anyone here as well might feel the same way, or for that matter, just don't cook these meats. So far perhaps one?

                12 Replies
                1. re: Rella

                  Can I ask where you grew up? Goose & duck are staples in my home country, rabbit and quail maybe not so much. But I have eaten all of them on several occasions. Duck is probably my favorite meat right after lamb. Goose & quail I can take or leave, rabbit can be amazing if done right.

                  1. re: linguafood

                    I grew up in the Ohio Valley near Marietta, Ohio, which is on the Ohio River, but I lived a few miles inland on a farm for the first 10 years of my life.

                    I have lived a number of years in each of these states: WV, Texas, Kansas, New Mexico, California, Washington state, and Hawaii, and now Virginia for the last 20 years. In the 70's and 80's I traveled (and ate) in China, Europe, Scandanavia, Japan, Nepal, Egypt, Greece, perhaps a few others.

                    They are just not in my head as meats to consider. I do eat chicken and fish and don't care for the taste of beef or pork, but I do eat it. All are in my home.

                    DH doesn't care for lamb that much - we used to eat it, but not for a number of years, so this has not been a consideraiton either. I have come to expect a number of lamb recipes in cookbooks, but for some reason, I don't pay much attention to their inclusion in cookbook, but when I see so many recipes for the above named meats, I have to wonder: just who is preparing these meats, since I've never talked to anyone who prepares them.

                    Oh, yes, I have eaten duck -- I forgot about that - Peking Duck. Or maybe some duck dishes along the way, but nothing outstanding that would make me think, Oh, I've gotta get a duck :-))

                    1. re: linguafood

                      I can always get duck and rabbit at the supermarket - although these are farmed animals. Much better are the wild ones at the farmers market. There's a couple of sellers who always have whatever game is in season, and always locally shot pigeon, of course. I've a wild mallard in the freezer - it'll probably get a simple roast and become a greedy meal for one.

                      It's not too often that we see goose, as it's expensive (although supermarkets always have frozen ones around Christmas).

                      1. re: Harters

                        I'm NEVER making goose again after last year's Thanksgiving disaster (luckily, only I and my man had to suffer through that one). I did appreciate the vat of fat I rendered out of that obese-but-dry-as-leather bird.

                        I'll stick to duck or turkey from now on. Would LOVE to get my hands on some fowl - pheasant, squab (pidgeon), etc.

                        Actually, this fall my plan is to get some venison. I live in deer county, after all.

                        1. re: linguafood

                          wondering how big it was? We have cooked goose 4 times, and it was wonderful 3 of those but the 4th it was a very large bird and the flesh was too coarse, somehow - not exactly leathery but less pleasing. Goose can be wonderful but you have to like dark meat and cook it carefully without overcooking.

                    2. re: Rella

                      I have had all three. I love duck, but I can only get whole ones frozen here -- none of the breasts I see on TV :(. I have only seen frozen rabbit, but my mom tells of going to the "rabbit man" down the street every week for a rabbit. My favorite rabbit dish was in a Spanish restaurant in London: lots of garlic. And quail are sooooo good, but soooo expensive.

                      I also like deer, elk and buffalo. Reindeer is very good, but I cannot get it here in New Mexico. I have only eaten it in Sweden. I have also had some fantastic goose, both wild and farmed.

                      It is sad that we limit ourselves so much to just a few meats here in the US. We can sometimes get other ones (such as the rabbit and duck) but because they are "specialty items" they are way more expensive.

                      If you get a chance try some smoked Pheasant. It is one of the best things ever to eat.

                      1. re: travelerjjm

                        Oh, I forgot - I've eaten deer. It was something regularly eaten and loved by my family. I'm sure there are recipes in books.

                      2. re: Rella

                        I find it odd that you think such recipes are just fillers because you personally haven't cooked with them. Many other people (not only chefs) cook them reguarly, especially duck and rabbit.

                        1. re: honkman

                          (Smiling) Yes it could be considered odd by some.

                          1. re: Rella

                            Just try them you will be surprised how many you will like. Here is one for rabbit from our blog - http://twofoodiesonejourney.blogspot....

                          2. re: honkman

                            Boy, do I agree! I cook duck really frequently, & always have roast goose at Xmas. Also enjoy Guinea Hen & Pheasant. In fact, I just obtained a cookbook that was nothing BUT recipes for duck. Love rabbit too, but husband doesn't eat it so I enjoy it in restaurants only.

                            1. re: Breezychow

                              OK, I'm discovering that no one who has replied here skips the recipe pages or finds that there are just too many recipes in a cook book that contain these meats.

                              Alas! I'm in Chowhound Land - may it live a long time.

                              Perhaps I'll post another one: Let's see --

                              "Am I the only one that thinks Demel's Cafe, Vienna, is overrated? and cannot abide seeing these types of desserts in cookbooks? :-))


                              Thanks, all.

                        2. I believe the main point of the post is that if you go into any supermarket ,the chances of finding quail, duck, or rabbit in the meat department here in the USA are very slim. I have yet to see a quail or rabbit. My Mom did a duck, but I am not sue where she found it. In more rural areas where hunting is more pronounced I would expect to know people who would have these game animals in the freezer. I knew a lot of duck, and goose, hunters back home, as we were in the Pacific Flyway. Even so, you didn't find them in the supermarkets there.

                          With that being said, I can see how having these meats in a cookbook here in the USA may seem odd , now that much of the population is now urban than rural. 60 years ago it was a different story. So, while you may find people who do cook these meats today, I would guess that the majority are hunters, and bagged it themselves.

                          12 Replies
                          1. re: BIGGUNDOCTOR

                            I think it depends where you live in the US. We live in California and nearly every supermarket has duck, many, especially asian, quail and pheasant and even though rabbit is a bit harder to find it is no problem for us to buy it on regular basis.

                            1. re: honkman

                              I lived in Northern CA between Sac, and SF for almost 40 years. Never saw any of these in a supermarket like Safeway, Raleys, Albertsons, etc..

                              Yes the ethnic markets do carry different items- I can get all of the chicken feet I would ever want at the Mexican markets in Las Vegas.........

                              With populations diversifying, and companies vying for customers I could see markets carrying more diverse meats than what they have in the past.

                              1. re: BIGGUNDOCTOR

                                I live in San Diego and travel a lot to LA and SF and you can find these meats in many regular supermarkets,e.g. Wholefoods, Ralphs, Vons even smaller towns in between these larger cities have a good selection.

                              2. re: honkman

                                Duck and rabbit are all over the place here in our markets in Brooklyn; quail, pheasant, squab and goose are easily found in specialty markets, Chinese (or Asian) live poultry markets and butcher shops. But then again, NYC is a big city that offers just about everything.

                                To the OP - How many is too many recipes? More than ten goose recipes would be odd in a general cookbook, for sure, but not for a dedicated book on goose preparation. I don't consider two or three or more rabbit or duck dishes to be anything unusual. Remember, Jacques Pepin is French, and he cooks these meats.

                                I seem to remember one of Craig Claiborne's NYT cookbooks as containing more than three recipes for duck, and Emeril Lagasse's Louisiana Real and Rustic has six rabbit and eight ducks recipes, not at all strange, considering that part of the country and the cuisine eaten there.

                                My point is that these meats are popular in the US, prepared by restaurant chefs and home types alike. Whether one eats them or not is a personal preference.

                                I realize it's not a happy conclusion when you purchase a cookbook sight unseen and realize that some/many of the recipes you'll never prepare, and really would have preferred a book that is focused on what you're accustomed to cooking/eating/ and what's available for you locally. Somehow I think, without seeing Essential Pepin, that there is a multitude of other dishes contained therein that you can try.

                                Buy that duck, and try it out.

                              3. re: BIGGUNDOCTOR

                                I do not hunt. I get frozen rabbit and duck from the small-town grocery. But it is sad that we cannot get so many of these things easily. I love good duck, but it costs a lot to ship it here (mountains of northern NM). I have seen wild pheasants here, but I have not seen one in a store here. And I have not seen grouse i a store in the US.

                                And what about goat? I think I can get some not too far away. I know I can get whole ones, and maybe halves (as one can get lamb) but that fills the freezer pretty quickly. And surprisingly, goat is not cheap!

                                Even big city dwellers should be able to get squab.

                                1. re: travelerjjm

                                  Now, I do like goat, but I've only had it once or twice. Once at a home bbq type dinner, and once in a South American country.

                                  Just thinking, they might even have it at the farm I buy my milk from. They have a bunch of 'exotic' goats. By that I mean, they aren't grown for fur or milk.

                                  I wouldn't purchase a lot of goat for my freezer though. I haven't seen a notice yet "Goat for Sale," although I've seen beef, perhaps lamb, too.

                                  As you can tell, goat is just another meat that doesn't come into my thinking. If I did see a goat receipe in a cookbook, I would probably have the same opinion as the other meats I've listed - just not in my psyche. Although I don't think there would be so many goat recipes as duck or rabbit recipes. Perhaps it would make a difference in the country of the topic cookbook; I would expect it, or not be surprised at its inclusion.

                                  If the meats I've mentioned have been in markets, I've not noticed them. It's just a circle: don't think about it, don't look-see.

                                  1. re: Rella

                                    i live in boston, which is a relatively small city, but the ethnic diversity is great. my local supermarket chains tend not to carry duck, rabbit or goat, but a short stone's throw away are ethnic markets where i can get these meats, and all sorts of similar stuff, for a song.

                                    honestly? i find chicken/beef recipes in a cookbook a bore and can't recall the last time i purchased a savories cookbook. (vs. baking.)

                                    1. re: Rella

                                      I have had some good goat at Indian and Latin American restaurants. Goat curry is very good.

                                      1. re: Rella

                                        There's a local asian supermarket that carries goat, it's frozen, from Australia. Last time I got a leg, this time they didn't have a whole leg so I got what looks like a half leg. I just don't like the typical butchering style where the meat is all hacked into rough cubes with the bones and bone shards in every piece, but I do love the taste of the meat. A quick sear followed by a long braise is what I've always done and loved it. I would like to find a coule more recipes for it, too, so no, even if I never cook any game it's still interesting to me to see how it can be prepared.

                                        1. re: Rella

                                          But isn't that one of the reasons to cook from cookbooks - recipes which use ingredients or flavor combinations you are normally not using ?

                                          1. re: honkman

                                            Yes, but but not out of own zone of 'comfort.' Zone of comfort, whatever one can conjure up by that pharse.

                                            I've cooked and learned to cook from many ethnic recipe books, I've never been daunted by a 'cuisine,' but -
                                            well, now, I'm just repeating myself.

                                      2. re: BIGGUNDOCTOR

                                        many times these items are in the freezer compartment not the fresh meat area. But maybe thats not so true all over the country. I find that some of the recipes for squab, quail etc. can be very nicely cooked with cornish game hens (though obviously the cooking time needs to be a bit adjusted.)