Coot Soup


A raft of coot at Lake Mattamuskeet, North Carolina. These abundant waterfowl can provide good eating if property cleaned.

  I once thought that I had rather eat an old coot than be one, but now that I am approaching the age of being an “old coot,” I have had cause to rethink that position.

  Fact is that the limit on coot is 15 birds a day, and I thought that more of these abundant North American waterfowl ought to be utalized.  After some experimentation I discovered that they are eatable, even good, provided that they are skinned and the greenish-yellow fat is removed prior to cooking. They also have the largest gizzards of all waterfowl, which I either used boiled or fried after they have been cleaned.

  For coot soup:

   Use 3 coot,  skinned with fat removed; 1 small onion, 2 stalks of celery, 1 14-oz. can of whole kernal corn, 1 14-oz.  can stewed tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of butter, 2 teaspoons of garlic salt, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper.

  Put coot in large pot and cover with water. Boil until meat starts to seperate from bones. Remove bones and return chopped meat to pot. Add other ingredients. Adjust seasionings to taste. I like a garlic tast to this dish. This is one of the few dishes that goes well with a dark beer or stout.

  This recipe is from my forthcoming book, X-Treme Muzzleloading: Taking fur, fowl and dangerous game with muzzleloading rifles, pistols and smoothbores  that will be published in the Spring of 2010.

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