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Old 11-24-2006, 12:23 AM   #1
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Default Squirel, Biscuts and gravy, serves 4

2 squirrels (about 1 pound each), dressed and quartered
2/3 cup flour for dredging, plus roughly 1/4 cup for gravy
5 slices bacon
Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, chilled
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons butter, melted

1. Parboil the squirrel pieces: Place them in a large pot and add enough salted water to cover. Bring to a simmer and cook until the meat is very tender but still intact—1 to 2 hours. Remove them from the water and set aside to cool.

2. In a large cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven, fry the bacon slices over medium heat until they’re crispy and all the fat has been rendered. Reserve the bacon for another use. In a wide, shallow bowl or pan, season 2/3 cup of flour (or more as needed) with salt and pepper. Dredge the squirrel pieces in it, shaking off any excess, and place them in the bacon grease. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook the squirrel until lightly browned on all sides, about 10 minutes per side. You may have to do this in batches; add butter to the pan if the grease seems insufficient.

3. In the meantime, make the biscuits: Preheat the oven to 400°. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Divide the shortening into several pieces and cut it into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a hole in the center and pour in the buttermilk. Using your hands, fold the dry mixture into the buttermilk until you have a sticky dough. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and fold it over on itself to form layers. Flatten it with your hands until it’* about 3/4 inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter or an upside-down glass, cut rounds out of the dough. Transfer the rounds to a sheet pan and brush with melted butter. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.

4. When the squirrel pieces are done, remove them to a plate or keep them warm in a low oven. Pour off the excess grease, keeping about 1/4 cup in the pan. Increase the heat to medium-high and add 1/4 cup of flour, stirring constantly and scraping up any browned bits until the mixture turns an oaky shade of brown. Add 3/4 cup of cold water and stir until a thick gravy forms; if it’* too thick, add more water. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve the squirrel and biscuits with the gravy on the side.
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