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21 responses to “Woodcock, Rejuvenation and Light”

  1. marvin

    Hank, thanks again for making a stop in Detroit. Enjoying your book. Please let us know when you are back in town.

  2. Nate Grace

    I love hunting and eating woodcock. One of my most favorite birds to hunt for in the woods here in Mass. I also love to shoot and eat sea ducks, so I guess that makes me a little odd.

    Great recipe and article.

    Very best,

  3. Holly Heyser

    Nice shit photo, honey! :-) And seriously, it’s good to hear that this hunt restored you. See you soon!

  4. noelle {simmer down!}

    Glad to hear the randomly procured ingredients worked out for you! And you’re right, those are funny-looking birds.

  5. Mark Coleman

    Hank, from a flavor standpoint do you prefer woodcock cooked more toward the rare side or more done?

  6. Carolina Rig

    Nice work Hank! Woodcock season, December 15, can’t get here fast enough.

    We’re off to our annual deer camp Thursday…brown its down…

    Aren’t you deer hunting soon for Mulies?

  7. MiraUncut

    Very nice! You made me drool with your description. My hubby brought me a pheasant this weekend after hunting. My first. I used your recipe and liked it alot. Thank you! I have to say though, pheasant doesn’t have much fat on it, so the flavor was very subtle. These look delish!

  8. MiraUncut

    Did I mention, I live in Michigan and love up north, so I’m glad you enjoyed it :) I’ve been a long time reader, but usually not a commenter. I have to say what I love about your posts are not only the natural, you eat what you kill thing, but that at the end of it, your dishes are so refined that you would order it in a high end restaurant. Props!

  9. la domestique

    I really wish I had a source for little birds like this. I just love the idea of roasting them and everyone having their own at the dinner table. Now I know what a woodcock turd looks like, so that’s good.

  10. cougmantx

    Okay, for the last couple of years I’ve been reading about Woodcock that migrate to just north of Houston in the Davy Crockett National Forest. I think this year my GSP and I will have to make a trip or two, to find out about these birds. Maybe after I get back from Kansas on my annual Pheasant and Quail hunt.

  11. Joe Criddle

    Too bad you overlooked West Virginia on your tour, (as well as a large market)! If you ever take another trip like this try to include us, (also see the Blackwater falls area for epic woodcock hunting – there’s lots of public land here, lots of game & other wild ingredients!!!).

  12. Steve

    Hank – Glad you enjoyed your woodcock experience. I remember shooting you an email last year about how we do woodcock for appetizers (not wrapped in bacon like many others). I love hunting the timberdoodles almost more than grouse………almost. The ruff is still the king.

    Cooked up some shaprtails and prairie chickens for the first time this year, cooked them simply like the woodcock, they were delicious, although the 1900 mile drive was steep, I’d hunt them again.

    Keep up the good work.

  13. Kirk

    Hank- thanks for the woodcock recipe. The season is a little over a month away here in N. Carolina. Can’t wait to try it out.

  14. Andrew

    A wonderful site, wonderful book and fantastic recipes! If you ever find your way winding around upstate NY, we have a bedroom for you, a serviceable Lab to shoot over, and woodcock and grouse hunting. You will be my guest. Thanks for sharing the passion.

  15. David Matthews


    Happy to have stumbled onto your site. It’s like rediscovering a long lost club.

    Not to be too didactic, experience with a number of woodcock has shown me that they are most succulent and aromatic when their flesh inside remains ‘pink’ or medium rare. This is a difficult trick when roasting them whole and the classic solution is to roast them quickly, the halves them. Keeping these halves warm, their innards, reduced together with a rich veal stock and a glass of Burgundy, makes for a royal sauce indeed after it is strained and then used for lightly poaching them for some minutes until they are perfectly done. I’ve had them truffled and roasted, but truffles override their elusive savors that blossom when prepared in the foregoing manner.

  16. chilindron (spanish stew) and a book event with hank shaw | | simmer down! {a food lover's blog}simmer down! {a food lover's blog}

    […] This summer, Hank Shaw of the blog Hunter Angler Gardener Cook announced he was going on tour to support his new book Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast . Much like the tours organized by many of my friends in fledgling bands over the years, this was a DIY, couch-surfing, cross-country jaunt, with Hank scheduling the events himself sans (at least to my knowledge) the aid of his publisher. Curious to see if there was anything in the works for Detroit, I emailed him and offered to help out. We went back and forth a bit as far as what type of event it should be, and Hank suggested a potluck. Marvin generously offered up his studio in the Russell Industrial building as a gathering place. I had hoped Hank might be able to spend the afternoon prior to the event foraging around the area to bring in examples of things people could find locally, but it didn’t pan out that way- the weather was already getting a bit too cold to find many wild plants, and Hank had other plans for hunting woodcock up north. […]

  17. Renshaw

    Hi I’m from the UK and just came across this page. We shoot woodcock over here during the winter. Anyone who has shot a right and left of woodcock can join The Woodcock Club, gun can’t leave the shoulder and it has to be witnessed.
    Generally we cook them in a hot oven with the innards still in which get eaten in toast or fried bread along side the bird, brain is also eaten, delicious smooth texture, i like it with greens and bread sauce. I’ve got 2 waiting for me in my larder from Saturday (not a right and left).

  18. Chris R

    Hank, what do you do with woodcock that are really shot up? Sometimes they flush close and catch the whole shot string. It seems like half my birds aren’t fit for whole bird roasting.

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