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16 responses to “Eating the Mystical Snipe”

  1. Murasaki Shikibu

    I’ve always loved game & wildfowl. My grandmother’s relatives used to send us pheasant and some kind of wild doves when they were in season. Maybe this is why I stay away from animal activists.

  2. matt wright

    Wonderful stuff. Don’t worry about getting too “cheffy”. I figure the first time you cook something new, experiment a bit. The confit heart sounds awesome I have say. Great idea to serve it over a consomme.

    I love that you always use the whole bird.

  3. Josh

    Perhaps, if you’d just done it simply, you’d regreat not having tried to do all the cool stuff you wrote about. Either way, you now have to go out and get more snipe!

  4. Mike S

    Did you consider the whole bird as a salmisserved on toast? Good way to make the most of the stock reduction, and retain all the flavor of the bird. Popular with woodcock.

  5. Murasaki Shikibu

    This was in Japan. The farmers, the police and the military (and the local mafia) are about the only people in Japan who have any kind of firearms…and my grandmother’s family were farmers.

    Not only did they send us pheasants and doves, but they also sent us vegetables from their farm which was very much appreciated in the city.

    Anyway centuries of Buddhism kind of ruined the meat cooking culture in Japan so the local culinary culture is pretty useless as far as cooking any kind of meat goes. I’ll be coming back here if I ever get my hands on any interesting kind of meat. 😉

  6. Carolina Rig


    Your account of how the snipe tasted was very similar to my experience eating woodcock. I bagged my first woodcock this past month, and decided I’d eat it ‘naked’ as I due most game I’m cooking for the first time. Pluck, butterfly, salt-pepper- olive oil, sear in pan, finish in oven. Breast meat was like what you described the snipe tasting like, a mix between dove and duck. The legs were quite different. It was a lighter meat (which is opposite of most the fowl I’ve brought home) with a much more delicate flavor. I hope to find some more woodcock before the season ends next weekend and try out your recipes for snipe on them. Thanks!

  7. oldfatslow

    If you can find a good snipe bog, the hunting can be more
    fun than ducks. We had a good year on snipe to offset
    the poor year on ducks.

    Alas, I don’t have your culinary skills, but plucked, marinated in Italian dressing, and grilled – snipe can’t be beat. I’ll have to try the bones and all next time I cook some. I’ve got a bag of
    beaks frozen. I hear they can be salted, roasted, and eaten
    like pretzels.


  8. Josh

    Hey, I plucked my snipe the other day… you said they had underfeathers, not tiny fur coats!

  9. adele

    Snipe heart confit? That sounds amazing. (Well, it all sounds amazing, but I always like the “weird bits” best.)

  10. van

    i was gonna mention the snipe beaks but ofs beat me to the punch.

    you do amazing things with your birds! thanks for the post.

  11. Finspot

    I think I’d have a tough time pulling the trigger on a snipe. A mallard or widgeon, no, but a snipe? They make such cool mating sounds when they do those parabolic flights at dusk. Very nice dish in any event!

  12. Eric Jennings

    Awesome sounding recipe! I have been getting a few snipe at Delevan. I will have to stock up a few more and try your recipe!


  13. chris

    I ate one in bordeaux fr that was plucked still warm then the under feathers were burned off with a candle and once it was de plumed it was held by the beak and the feet and placed in hot vegetable oil for a min or two and served with salt and pepper and some pan fried potatoes with finnes herbs and it tasted like fried turkey… very good. No need to filet or debone even the bones were not that hard, really. I’m even picky about quail and fish bones snipe is fine to serve even with the beak and feet. (although it looks a little twisted and odd) yummy.

  14. Brazos Bend in winter | Diamictite

    […] Other highlights… tons of snipes (Well, like 5 or so, but that is the most snipes I’ve ever seen in one place at one time), and a glossy ibis.  Took a few pictures of the snipe and the bittern.  I was surprised at how small the snipe actually is.  They just seem like a biggish, chunky bird to me… but they looked so much tinier at close range.  Almost like I could pick it up and eat it (just kidding… kind of… people do eat them though, and this dude calls it a mystical bird).    […]

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