Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Squirrel -- the new chicken

Many readers contacted me after my post about my brother's squirrel terrine. It can't be true, they said. It seems that the New York Times is also tracking nutkin cuisine. It is apparently a favorite at Fergus Henderson's St. John restaurant:
Mr. Henderson, who cooks with both poetry and passion, sometimes prepares his squirrels “to recreate the bosky woods they come from,” braising them with bacon, “pig’s trotter, porcini and whole peeled shallots to recreate the forest floor.” He serves it with wilted watercress “to evoke the treetops.”
Curiouser and curiouser. (Oh and BTdubs, it's pronounced Skwi-rul because it has two syllables and should not rhyme with whirl, my lovely American friends.)


thelma wilcox said...

Only one comment, you must never, never eat the red squirrel, because they are rare in England. Grey squirrels are a pest and should be eaten with gusto for robbing my nut trees every summer ;)

sian said...

...a favourite amongst all 'right on chefs' here in the uk, most noteably hugh fearnley whittingstall, (who actally also served nibbles with drinks of squirrel liver & heart on cocktail sticks before serving up a large casserole of the varmits) with the idea we must try and live off the countryside and food sources nearer to home..
grey squirrel of course is rampant here (wasn't it introduced from the US?) so it helps keep the population down and apparently tastes like rabbit..right on..

Miss Whistle said...

Very good point about only eating the grey ones, although I don't remember the last time I saw a red squirrel, which is a bit sad.

And, Miss Sian, I do think your comment most valid, about living off the countryside and food that is grown close to home. It is slowly becoming more popular here, but England seems to understand it more profoundly, along with stewardship.

Thank you so much for commenting.

John Hayes said...


I actually used to go squirrel hunting with my dad as a wee lad back in Vermont. I have to say my memory of "squirrel pie"-- which recall contained peas & carrots & some sort of pot-pie-like gravy, as well as the occasional fragment of a .22 shell dad had neglected to remove during cleaning-- is not real positive. But it's interesting that what was once kind of working class country fare is getting this kind of airplay.

Great blog, by the way-- I've been reading it off & on for some time.