Rouses Everyday - September & October - page 34

Local deer is different than deer you hunt
in the Midwest. Our deer eat a diet of
broadleaf plants, nuts and acorns, so their
meat has less fat than those deer that graze in
cornfields (think grass-fed beef versus corn-
fed beef ). Less fat means less marbling, so
for tougher cuts, you need to inject fat (I
like bacon fat), or use a marinade or dry rub
to tenderize, and break down the enzymes
in the meat before cooking. Be careful not
to overcook or you’ll end up with venison
that’s gamey and rubbery. Use high heat
when you cook loins; go low and slow with
the shoulder, shank and neck. You can cut
the hindquarters into steaks and use the
way you would skirt or flank.
You can buy
Venison sausage at Rouses.
In my world, turtle is usually followed by
the word soup. We use diced snapping
turtle at Commander’s Palace, but you can
also grind it. (Rouses sells frozen turtle meat
in their Seafood Department.) John Folse
makes the ultimate turtle sauce piquant.
Rabbits runs fast, so their meat is tougher,
but the rich flavor is worth the cooking
time. Pound it thin to tenderize, or cook it
down to make it tender. Just keep an eye
on the clock; rabbit has a lower fat content
than chicken, so avoid overcooking.
Rouses doesn’t sell squirrel, or nutria. Stew
them the way you would rabbit.
Alligator tastes like a cross between chicken
and rabbit. I tend to stick to the tail meat,
which is white and has a veal-like texture,
the backstrap, and the wings (gator legs).
FroG leGs
Frog tastes like chicken, but sweeter. Cut
the tendon between the legs or the legs will
keep jumping after you remove the head.
The only kind of Wild Turkey you’ll find
at Rouses is the 80-proof kind. Wild
turkeys are smaller, leaner and have a more
intense flavor than domestic. You can cook
them the same way as the turkeys you buy
at Rouses, but wild turkeys don’t have the
plump breast of Butterballs, and because
they’re leaner, you may want to add some
fat. Rouses has domestic Pekin duck (and
you can order domestic duck). Wild duck
is leaner than domestic because of what it
eats and how much it moves. Don’t cook
wild duck breast past medium-rare or it will
become dry and flavorless.
Quail is very popular around here (there are
quail farms all over), and we always have
quail on our menu at Commander’s Palace.
The meat is a beautiful, rich red, and has
a bold, rich flavor. I serve it boned, so it’s
easier to eat.
Commander's Wild Side
Commander’s Wild Side, is available on
Amazon and at Commander’s Palace.
Take a Walk
On The Wild Side
Chef Tory McPhail, Executive Chef,
Commander's Palace & co-author Commander’s Wild Side
photo by
Michael Terranova
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