All About Game Birds
Traditionally, the term “game” covers the whole of edible wild animals hunted for a restricted period of time. Now, many of these animals are raised and marketed throughout the year.
Availability: Year round at markets or during various hunting seasons
How to Pick It: Game birds need to be bought as fresh as possible. Try to get young, female birds if you can, and don’t go for the most colorful feathers; those are males! The younger they are, the more tender the meat will be. Younger birds are better for roasting, frying, and broiling, and older birds do better stewed or braised. Look for a flexible wishbone and beak, the presence of fluff, and light colored feet to ensure high quality meat. Never buy a bird with bite marks, broken feathers, or bruises.
How to Store It: Game birds freeze just like any other meat. Wrap it well, as just a plastic bag won’t be moisture resistant. Make note that you should not stuff a bird before freezing, as bacteria can proliferate during thawing.
How to Cook It: They need to be cooked in alignment with the same sanitary guidelines as poultry, but prepared like game bird, as the meat is much leaner. Slow cooking is the best method for cooking these birds; you’ll know when it’s done when the juices run clear (no blood).
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