Game birds offer delectable alternative to turkey, chicken

US - If you're still suffering from Thanksgiving-induced turkey trauma, why not roast a goose? For that matter, cook a duck, or a pheasant, or a squab (or two, since they're small), or a quail (or several, since they're tiny).

If European traditions of eating game birds at festive occasions don't fan your interest, maybe the notion of eating locally will.

"These birds are all native to the Midwest," said Jason Handelman, the executive chef at Fox & Obel Food Market in Chicago. "They're what the first people in this area ate. So in a sense, we're coming back full circle."

As a result, he said, Fox & Obel's sales for the game birds are up about 20 percent in the last year.

Others who sell game birds say the same thing. "Sales are up every fall," said Ray Lekan, a butcher at Paulina Meat Market in Chicago. "In the fall and winter, they'll sell double the normal. But some people use them all year round."

Traditionally, you had to be a pretty good shot to bag these classic game birds, so they have always been associated with luxury. Consider "pheasant under glass," the cliched description of a fine entree in a snooty restaurant.

Imagine planning a dinner party for 12 and counting on your favorite hunter to bring home enough quail for everyone to have two.

Source: Lansing State Journal
calendar icon 9 January 2006
clock icon 1 minute read
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