4 medium-sized squirrels – drawn, skinned and cleaned or filleted
½ lb. black-eyed peas
3 medium onions
2 small carrots
½ pkg. frozen sweet peas or canned
¼ lb. smoked link sausage
flour or cornmeal
bacon fat or lard (olive or canola oil)
salt and pepper
1 c. chicken broth
Skin and clean your squirrels thoroughly. Place the squirrels in salted water and store overnight in the refrigerator. The next day, rinse and pat dry. Bring 4 to 6 cups of water to a vigorous boil in a large saucepan and add the black-eyed peas. Boil furiously for 2 minutes, then remove from heat and cover; let sit 15 minutes and drain. Quarter the squirrels or fillet the meat off the legs and back. Dredge the meat with flour or cornmeal. Sauté in a skillet in hot bacon fat or lard until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel and place in a crock-pot. Chop the onions coarsely and sauté in bacon fat and pan drippings (or olive or canola oil) until translucent. Add the onions to the pot. Cut the carrots into ¾-inch lengths, and the sausage into 1/8-inch discs. Add the carrots, sausage, peas and black-eyes peas to the pot. Salt and pepper to taste and stir gently. Add the chicken broth and cook in the crockpot for 8 hours on low setting or until the meat is almost falling off the bones. For a different flavor, you can substitute navy beans for the black-eyes peas.
Chef Tim Lawhern
Conservation Officer with the Wisconsin DNR
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