Monday, April 27, 2015

W is for Woodcock - A to Z Challenge 2015

Woodcock_earthwormDespite the fact that this is the last name of our son-in-law (the artist) I know little or nothing about the Woodcock. Through his blog, not often published, I also know it is called a Scolopax. Apparently they are a genus of 7 or 8 small wading birds. Most of them are found in the Northern hemisphere. Some of the varieties have been overhunted and are considered pretty scarce. They feed at night and use their long bills to pull up worms and such. As you can see, although they are pretty small, they are plump little birds which would make them interesting for the table.
As  I think it extremely unlikely that anyone reading this would get a chance to eat woodcock, I haven’t worried about the fact that this recipe looks a tad complicated. The recipe came from ShootingUK

Roasted woodcock with rosti potato and caramelised parsnips

roasted_woodcock_recipe
This woodcock recipe is delicious, looks fantastic and doesn't take long to cook
 
This woodcock recipe requires a brace of woodcocks and will serve two
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
»» brace woodcocks (2)
»» 2 parsnips
»» 1 grated large potato
»» salt and pepper
»» 1 tsp honey
»» 25g butter
»» 2 tsp veg oil
»» sugar

Prepare the woodcock Pluck the woodcocks as normal, but do not draw them
How to cook this woodcock recipe
1
: Pan roast the birds in the oil and butter, thyme and garlic.
Seal off both sides and place the birds breast-up in a hot oven (preheated to 180-200 degrees) for eight minutes.
2: Take the woodcock out the oven and rest for four minutes.
3: Once rested, take off the legs and crown it.
4: Use sharp scissors to remove the backbone and entrails. Set this aside to use for gravy later.
5: Clean the parsnips, core them and cut into quarters.
Roast in the oven for 10 minutes in oil with a sprinkle of sugar, salt and pepper.
Remove from the oven and drizzle with honey.
6: Grate the potato and squeeze the excess starch out.
Mix the potato with some oil and butter and season it.
Squeeze the potato into a patty shape.
Fry until brown on both sides (around five minutes for each side).
7: Place the cooked potato rosti on a plate and put the woodcock breast and legs on top. Serve with the caramelised parsnip.
Mark has added chopped, creamed savoy cabbage to the dish in the picture above.
Have a great day
Jo

37 comments:

  1. That woodcock looks too cute to eat, but I'm sure he'd be quite tender and juicy. Thanks for the wonderful recipe, Jo!

    Julie

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    1. Your'e welcome Julie. I don't even know if we can get them on this side of the world.

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  2. Hi Jo - I imagine .. it'd taste very good and is a bird I've never eaten. I wonder how long they 'hang' it before it's cooked ... looks very good though .. cheers Hilary

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    1. You'll have to try them and let me know Hilary.

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  3. I've always wanted to try it. One for the bucket list!

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    1. I would have thought you, at least, Mike, would have eaten one. When you do let me know how they taste. Do they occur in the Americas? Mel sent me pix of Eric and Ernie yesterday, they are cute. You should get a big dog to run with you.

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  4. What, I couldn't eat that little guy... well maybe I could. :)

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    1. You could if it was put in front of you looking delicious Jeremy. Especially if you were hungry.

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  5. Never heard of a woodcock before. Of course at first glance I thought you wrote 'woodchuck'.

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    1. You can probably eat those too JoJo, never heard of it mind you.

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  6. I can't eat Snoopy's best friend!

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    1. LOL, I didn't realise that was supposed to be a Woodcock Jay

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  7. Well I've eaten woodcock some years ago and very good it was too. I'm not at all surprised that your recipe came from Shooting UK. As a teenager I was a beater on a shoot that bagged a woodcock or two.

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    1. Interesting Bob. I am glad someone has eaten it and gives a good report. Even my son-in-law hasn't eaten it and it's his last name..

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  8. I'm sure they would be much like quail - not a lot of meat.

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    1. You're probably right Alex, but they must be good otherwise they wouldn't bother hunting them.

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  9. Never heard of this bird. It's actually kind of cute... but not so cute I wouldn't cook it and eat it. That sounds like a great recipe.

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    1. I would like to try it too, but never got the opportunity. I really don't know whether they are in the Americas or not. I would think they would be very like quail.

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  10. Interesting. Both the profile of woodcocks and the recipe that goes along with it. The cooking of these guys would take all day apparently. Hopefully, it would be worth the wait; most slow cooked things are. I like armchair cooking and imaginary eating.

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    1. I suppose there are other ways Stephanie. I didn't look into it. But as you say, long slow cooking usually produces something good.

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  11. The recipe looks great except it is a rare bird. I tawt I saw a puddy tat a creepin up on me...

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    1. I am guessing it would be OK to sub with quail.

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  12. I'm with Stephanie, armchair cooking and imaginary eating! Though must say those caramelized parsnips look delicious! The Woodcock does look too cute to eat! Lisa, co-host AtoZ 2015, @ http://www.lisabuiecollard.com

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    1. Yer all too soft Lisa. It all sounds delicious to me. I don't armchair cook of course. Or rarely.

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  13. I shall not be making this dish, mainly because I would never have the patience :)

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    1. It is a lot of work Mark, but it would be well worth it.

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  14. I would imagine it might be hard to find a woodcock here to prepare that recipe, but the recipe does look interesting!

    betty

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    1. I have been saying I think quail would be a good substitute. I don't know if this bird is available in North America Betty.

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  15. Not sure I could find woodcock here, but Jo, the recipe sounds really good!!

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    1. As I have been saying Dixie, I think over here we would have to use quail.

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  16. I wonder how the little guy tastes? He is too nice looking to eat plus if he is rare then it is not good to eat this bird. I wonder if the recipe would go well with another type of bird

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    1. Not rare in the UK I don't think and now I have found it is available in North America Birgit.

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  17. You've done so well on this challenge Jo and now you have only the three hardest letters in the alphabet left! I can't wait to see what will transpire. Roasted Yak? Zooplankton Mornay? Even I can't think of anything for X. Love your work :)

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    1. I like Zooplankton Mornay Pinky. Wonder how it would taste.

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