Category Archives: Wild Game

Turphucken

Thanksgiving has unexpectedly appeared in my rear view mirror.  And like most Thanksgivings of late, memories of ’09 suddenly come to mind.  That year, I volunteered to cook Thanksgiving dinner for the entire family.  And like the dumb ass that I am, I decided it was the perfect time to try something new!

Being a fan of all things Cajun, I had always wanted to try my hands at the infamous Turducken…..you know, a chicken, stuffed inside a duck, stuffed inside a turkey…..coonass engineering at its finest.  Now, I am sure for the true Cajun, cooking a Turducken is just another day on the bayou.  But, for an over weight, drunken, city boy like myself, a “turphucken” (as I now call it) is a proverbial ass whip’n.

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Thank God For Duck Season!

Command of the English language has never been my strong point, which is becoming ever apparent the longer I keep up this blog.  Be that as it may, the show must go on.  No half truths today, no parading around my families dirty laundry for the enjoyment of others.  No, today is just a plain, old fashion, boring food blog.

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Cowboys and Indians

If you are easily offended, then you probably should stop reading my blog……if not, then here is a little funny.

A Cowboy walks up to this Indian and says, “Indian, can I talk to your horse?”  Indian says, “Horse no talk.”  Cowboy looks at the horse and says, “Horse, is Indian treating you good?”  The horse looks over at the Cowboy and says, “Yea, Indian is treating me good.  He feeds me oats, he washes me down from time to time and occasionally he combs my mane.  All and all, life is good.”

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Charlotte’s Web

For some odd reason, I have had a lot of nicknames growing up. As a young pup, my nickname was Bucket, something to do with my uncanny ability to crap bucketfuls…..then in my adolescent years there was Todd the Turd, something to do with my uncanny ability to be a turd most of the time……and then after my first divorce, there was Todd the As……well maybe we should just stop there.

Although most nicknames have come and gone, one nickname has suck, Ten Pig Todd. Several years ago while being dropped off at a blind during our annual spring turkey hunt, we came up upon a bunch of wild pigs devouring deer corn underneath a feeder. Upon scurrying away, one of our buddies said, “If those sumbitches come back, you shoot every damn one of them”. Unfortunately for them, they came back and hence TPT.

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Roll Tide

Being married seven times is a good indication that I am not a smart man.  But what I lack in intelligence, I make up for in hard work and a little bit of levity.  Fortunately for my kids, God was much more kind to them than he was to me.

My two oldest sons go to a small private school that’s main purpose in life is to kill a kid’s spirit.  “No talking in the halls”, “hands behind your back”, “sit up straight”.  Structure and obedience are paramount….That was until my kids came along.

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Warning!

This is not my typical post.  This is a warning.  This goes out to all men and all women who act like men.  If your significant other ever expresses an interest in watching the movie “Black Swan” together, run and run fast.

To most, this statement may seem like a given.  However, as men can typically be, I have been an ass lately.  Nothing that I see out of the ordinary, but Siete has taken exception to my behavior.  As such, I decided to take one for the team.  I was going to be the good husband and endure a little pain.  “Surely it can’t be that bad”……Buuuuullllllllschit!  This f__king movie is horrible.  It is two hours of my life that I ain’t ever getting back and if this doesn’t earn me some serious brownie points; well it is time I start looking for Ocho.

I digress.  Most aren’t reading this blog to listen to all of my bitching and moaning.  Most are here for the food.  So, without further ado, the link below is a recipe that I recently had published in Plum Creek’s bi-annual hunting newsletter.  Hope you enjoy.

http://www.plumcreek.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=bR%2bnTjmezHo%3d&tabid=142&mid=795

Twisted Epilogue: The only good thing that came out of watching this movie is the realization that I need to lose some weight.  Having bigger tits than Natalie Portman is not natural for a man.  Hence forth, I am officially on a diet……Siete, you were finally right on something.  Kudos to you.


The Gig Is Up

Much to my chagrin, Siete actually reads my blogs.  As you can surmise, she was none too pleased with “Rose Colored Glasses”.  Needless to say, I am eating healthy again, exercising more and back on the wagon.  So if I seem a bit cranky; well, you now know why.

Given my recent lifestyle change, I have found that eating healthier isn’t really the issue.  Giving up beer, well that is another story.  In an effort to take my mind off my yearning desires, I decided to spend the weekend doing “honey dos”.  I spent numerous hours cleaning the garage, washing and waxing the cars and mowing the lawn.  Heck I even cleaned out the gutters and trimmed the trees.  I was being a good husband.  In the midst of my chores, I looked over at Siete and saw that was smiling from ear to ear.  The kind of a smile that showed her gratitude and appreciation for all the sacrifices I am making.  Thinking about it, it may have been the happiest I had seen her in quite some time.  However, true happiness is often times fleeting and when she found me passed out on the patio, beer in hand; her smile quickly vanished. 

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Melancholy

 For a lot of Texans, we are coming to the end of our Religious Pilgrimage.  Sure there is always a spring turkey to shoot or a big redfish to land, but for all intents and purposes, hunting season is all but over.  We must now return to our familial responsibilities and hope that the return of the season comes sooner than we might expect.

It has become a tradition within my group of hunting buddies to have a “Man Dinner” at the close of every season.  A time to bring families together and enjoy the fruits of our labor.  A time to enjoy the company of our wives, our kids and……blah, blah, blah.  Who am I trying to kid.  The Man Dinner has very little to do with bring our families together.  No, the Man Dinner has everything to do with drinking beer, eating good food and telling lies about all the good and bad hunts we had.  And from what I can tell, though I have never asked, I think the women folk may enjoy it too.

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A Former Life

Some will lead you to believe that when it is time to meet my maker, I will be seated First Class on Lucifer Airlines, headed due south.  And although I will admit to not walking the straight and narrow, I am a God fearing individual and I understand the importance of spiritual beliefs and guidance.  However, as with most journeys in my life, I tend to question my faith from time to time.  Currently that question involves the understanding of reincarnation. 

Growing up, I truly believed that I was born in the wrong era.  I should have been riding the open plains, driving cattle north and fighting Comanche along the way.  I should have been playing poker and drinking whiskey with Gus McCrae.  I was born to brave the elements and sleep under the stars.  In my former life, I must have been a cowboy?  But as time passed and I realized that sleeping among the elements isn’t quite so appealing, so went my belief of reincarnation.  Or did it?

Recently, my brother (to be known hence forth as the Syndicate) sent me his recipe for Midnight Gumbo, the coup de gras of Coon Ass cooking.  See in bayou country there are two truisms, if it is worth cooking, it is likely to take all day and if you are going to cook all day, you might as well get your drunk on while doing it.  Wait…..back up and read that again……..I am beginning to see the light.  I wasn’t born in the wrong era; I was born in the wrong area.  In my previous life, I wasn’t a cowboy, I was a freak’n Cajun.  I wasn’t meant to ride the plains and drive cattle, I was born to ride air boats, hunt ducks, get liquored up and shoot gators.  I my friends, am a Coon Ass and hope this recipe will inspire you to become a want-to-be Coon Ass too.     

The Syndicate’s Midnight Gumbo*

Roux Ingredients

1 c  vegetable oil

1 c  flour

Gumbo Ingredients

½ c          Hell Bitch Cajun Seasoning

2 lbs       duck breast, cubed

1 lbs       Andouille Sausage, chopped

1 each   yellow onion, chopped

1 c           celery, diced

1 each   green bell pepper, diced

3 Qtrs    duck or chicken stock

2-4          bay leaves

1 c           green onion tops, chopped

2 c           white rice

                Tabasco & Gumbo Filet, to taste

French Bread Ingredients

1 each   French bread loaf

2 T          butter

1 T          garlic, minced

A Word about Gumbo

There are only two secrets to good gumbo.  First, use good, homemade stock.  Second, take the time to make a good roux – it’s the best part of making gumbo as you will soon see.

Now many people fret over making the roux.  But making a roux is nothing more than cooking flour in oil, in a HOT CAST IRON skillet.  The only real rule in making roux is to “stir the mutha”.  And when I say stir, I mean stir – constantly.  You can raise or lower the heat if you feel like the roux is getting away from you, but never quit stirring!  A wooden spoon or spatula is the best roux-stirrer.

There are many different kinds of roux.  Some are cooked in butter, some are cooked in lard and some are cooked in oil.  My experience has been that oil works best.  However, when it boils down to it, roux’s are generally judged by their color.  There is dirty blonde, milk chocolate, Indian red, dark chocolate and the ever elusive black roux.  The longer you cook the roux, the darker it gets.  Just remember, the darker it gets, the faster it cooks.  You can go from Indian red to dark chocolate in a matter of seconds.  And remember, coon-asses call roux “Cajun Napalm”.  It gets VERY hot and will burn if you are sloppy in your stirring.

While most folks judge their roux by color, the Syndicate has a better unit of measurement……the number of glasses (or bottles) of red wine necessary to obtain the desired color.  For Midnight Gumbo, you should count on at least a one bottle roux.  However, gumbo is a labor of love and requires patience.  Since you will be stirring constantly, you should open two bottles (just in case) and place them both within reach.

Finally, be sure to prep all ingredients prior to starting your roux, because once the roux is done, you will “cool it down” by stirring in the vegetables.  Note, the roux will immediately darken more once you add the vegetables.

Bring on the Gumbo

Season duck liberally with Hell Bitch Cajun Seasoning and brown in cast iron Dutch oven.  Once browning is complete, remove from Dutch oven and set aside.  To make roux, combine oil and flour and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.  Once roux has reached desired color (see above) add onion, celery and bell pepper (The Holy Trinity), seasoning liberally with Hell Bitch and sauté for 10 minutes, still stirring that mutha constantly.  Add Andouille sausage, bay leaves and continue to sauté for 5 minutes.  Next, add enough stock to cover entire mixture by about one inch, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.  Approximately 5 minutes before serving gumbo, add cubed duck and allow re-heating.

Cajun Garnishment

While simmering gumbo, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Sauté garlic and butter for about 3 minutes.  Cut trough in French bread, pour in garlic butter, wrap in foil and heat for approximately 10 – 15 minutes or until toasty.

Serve in deep bowl over rice and top with your desired amount of green onions, filet and Tabasco.  

* Midnight Gumbo you may ask?  Odd name for a gumbo recipe.  As I have said previously, Cajun’s love to cook, and cooking great coon ass food takes all day……. and sometimes all night.  Legend has it that this recipe was scribed sometime around midnight, after what was likely a “two bottle” roux night.  As much as I would like to have retained its original form, many of you, including me, may have had a hard time ciphering through it if sober.  Although I do not recommend sobriety when cooking gumbo, I have taken the liberty to provide you with a “translated” form, while trying to maintain its original colorfulness.  The Syndicate and I hope you enjoy!


Religious Pilgrimage

Before you turn and run, I ask for a little latitude on this subject.  I know religion may give many of you tired head.  Heck it gives me tired head too.  And I know you don’t typically talk about religion in a food blog.  But religion is something that is a part of most God fearing individuals.  Different from person to person, religion is a product of our upbringing; it is a symbol of our heritage.  It’s a definition of who we are and what we believe.  Be it Arabs or be it Jews or be it Christians, at one time or another, most true believers journey to Mecca in order to achieve religious enlightenment and pay homage to their creator. 

 For me, as with most other Texas males, our religious pilgrimage tends to stray a bit off course and begins as summer draws to a close.  Thousands upon thousands of Texans travel from far and near to seek out the familiarities of their homeland and pay homage to their god.  No I am not talking about high school football, although a religious experience in its own right.  I am talking about the opening of Dove Season.  That’s right, the day boys become men and men become boys.  A day where no matter your age, race, color or creed, men come together to eradicate those menacing little bastards we call dove. 

 Even after all the years of attempting to totally destroy my cerebral cortex, I still can remember the joy and excitement of my first dove hunt.  Dogs running to and fro, #8 lead shot peppering your face and hands, rattle snakes waiting in the tall scrub to strike at whatever comes near.  If that ain’t heaven, I don’t know what is.

As with every good pilgrimage, a great celebration should always conclude a long journey.  As tradition goes, evening dove hunts are the precursor to an evening dove feast.  Meat, meat and more meat.  Which leads me to this Texas favorite.  The following recipe can be used for most any type of game bird, be it duck, quail or schitbird.  Although I have an affinity for schitbird, hands down, dove is where I pay my homage.

For more recipes, sauces and/or seasonings, please visit us at www.schitbird.com

Dove Poppers with Jalapeno Cream Sauce

Ingredients:

10 Dove

10 slices bacon

1 jalapeno (julienned)

1 onion (julienned)

4 oz cream cheese

4 T  Otis & Oskie Wild Game Seasoning

½ c Red Ass Beer B Que Sauce

1 bottle Italian Dressing

10 toothpicks

1 c Jalapeno Cream Dipping Sauce (recipe below)

Preparation:

Preheat grill to 400 degrees.

Pour Italian Dressing in plastic bag and marinate dove breasts for 30 to 60 minutes.  Once the Schitbirds are done marinating, season with Otis & Oskie Wild Game Seasoning.  Then take one slice of jalapeno, one slice of onion and pinch of cream cheese and place it inside the breast meat.  Wrap bacon around dove, veggies and cream cheese and stick a toothpick through everything to hold it together.  Repeat the process for all ten birds.

Place dove on preheated grill and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, while basting with Red Ass Beer B Que as you turn.

Jalapeno Cream Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:

¼ c heavy cream

¼ c sour cream

½ Jalapeno, seeded and diced

¼ purple onion, diced

3 T grated Parmesan Cheese

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whip until cream becomes the consistency you desire.  Serve on side for dipping.


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