Rattlesnake Skinning and Dining

If you live in the country there’s a fair chance that you live with rattlesnakes. Some folks kill them and throw them aside, but rattlesnake meat is actually pretty tasty and nutritious, and the stretched skins are beautiful, too! Preparing a fresh snake isn’t for the faint of heart. Take your decapitated snake and bury the head to keep pets and critters safe. If it was killed recently, it will probably still be wiggling and coiling. You just have to work around that. Hold it firmly and slit the skin where the head was attached. Stick your finger into the slit, grab the skin and yank downward. You should be able to remove the whole skin; it will turn inside out. Or cut carefully down the middle of the belly and gently peel it off. The rattle can go with the skin. For a 3- to 4-foot snake, melt a quarter of a stick of butter in a frying pan. Sprinkle the meat with salt and your favorite spices. Add snake meat and brown. Once browned, turn heat down, cover (with lid slightly off to allow steam to escape) and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the lid for the last 10 minutes to reduce juices. However you decide to prepare it, make sure to cook the meat for at least half an hour to tenderize. The meat can be eaten from the spine and ribs, similar to fried chicken. We preserve our skins by nailing them on a board and rubbing hand lotion into both sides several times while they dry. 

Tags: Rattlesnake

Views: 599

Replies to This Discussion

I would like to give it a try someday. 

OMG!  Ok Ms. Jan, I have eaten some weird stuff in my day but I can't see eating a rattlesnake, sorry.

That looks interesting , I especially like the tip about curing the skin . Rattlers are a bit scarce here may have to take a trip to the zoo !!

Ms. Data, I am with you although my dad use to tell me it is not bad nor strong.  John, LOL...they might not be happy with that thought.  Maybe you could swing it as an impromptu survival course

Squirrel Legs

Ready in: 1 hour 30 minutes

  • 8 strips bacon
  • 16 meaty squirrel legs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  1. Cook the bacon and set aside. Reserve grease in the skillet. While the bacon is cooking, season the squirrel with salt and pepper, and set aside.
  2. In a resealable bag, add flour and cornstarch. Whisk together eggs and milk until smooth. Dredge the squirrel in the flour mixture, shake off excess flour, then dip into egg mixture, shaking off excess egg. Dredge again in the flour, and set aside.
  3. Discard all but two tablespoons of bacon fat from the skillet, and bring back to medium-high heat. Cook the squirrel pieces until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side, then set aside.
  4. Turn heat down to medium; add the onions, garlic, and shallot and cook for 3 minutes, until soft. Pour in the chicken stock, and add the bay leaf and minced thyme. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer.
  5. Add the squirrel, return to a simmer, cover, then turn heat to medium-low. Cook until very tender, about 30 minutes.
  6. Remove the squirrel legs to a serving platter and spoon the sauce over them. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon and serve.

Buttermilk Fried Squirrel

Ready in: 1 hour

  • 2 young squirrels, cut into serving pieces
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon tarragon (or a teaspoon each of your 3 favorite dried herbs)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2-3 cups grape seed or vegetable oil
  1. Soak the squirrel overnight in buttermilk with onions, garlic, herbs, paprika and cayenne pepper.
  2. Drain in a colander, leaving some herbs on the meat. In a large re-sealable plastic bag, or in a large bowl, mix the flour with the garlic and onion powder and cayenne, as well as a dash of salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet on medium-high heat.
  3. Place the squirrel pieces in the bag with flour and shake until thoroughly coated.
  4. Add the squirrel to the skillet and fry on one side for about 10 minutes, until golden brown, and then use tongs to turn the pieces over and fry for another 10 minutes, again until golden brown.
  5. Remove the squirrel from the skillet and place it on a wire rack over paper towel.
Q. What's the difference between a southern zoo and a northern zoo

A. The southern zoo has a description of the animal along with a recipe.


American Pronghorn Stew

This is a stew I submitted in a Phoenix Chili Cook-off competition and won two years in a row....once with Pronghorn, the second with Elk. I like this stew a lot – and I mean a lot. I adapted it from our traditional Polish stew that uses lamb and goat. Loaded with hearty, healthy ingredients, it can be used with any meat really; beef, pork, venison, rabbit, or other wild game are equally suitable for this stew.

But if you want to win a competition, you better use something exotic!

Day 1 - Smoke the meat. Use any smoking technique you prefer - keeping it low and slow. I smoked 5 pounds Pronghorn in oak for 3 hours at 200 degrees. We don't want to cook it through, we just want a heavy flavoring. Remove meat from the smoker, let rest over night.

Day 2 - Make the Stew


3 lbs

boneless Pronghorn leg and shoulder, or leg of lamb or lamb shoulder trimmed of excess fat, cut into 1 1/2" pieces

1 1/2 lbs

small yellow potatoes halved or quartered into 1" pieces

1 lb.

button mushrooms thickly sliced

4 oz

bacon (4 strips, chopped into 1/4" strips)


medium carrots 10 oz, peeled and cut into 1/2" thick pieces


Garlic cloves, minced


bay leaves


large yellow onion, diced

4 C

low sodium beef broth or stock

1 1/2 C

good red wine

1/4 C

all-purpose flour or gluten free flour

1/4 C

parsley finely chopped for garnish

1 Tbsp

tomato paste (I use my favorite BBQ sauce)

1/2 Tbsp

sea salt for the lamb plus 1 tsp for stew

1 Tsp

black pepper for lamb plus 1/2 tsp for stew

1/2 Tsp

dried thyme


  1. In a 5Qt Dutch oven, sauté chopped bacon over medium heat until browned and fat released. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a large plate.
  2. While bacon cooks, season Pronghorn pieces with 1/2 Tbsp salt and 1 Tsp pepper. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup flour and toss to coat. Cook Pronghorn in 2 batches in hot bacon grease over medium heat until browned (3-4 min per side) then transfer to the plate with bacon.
  3. Add diced onion and sauté 2 min. Add garlic and cook another minute, stirring constantly. Add 1 1/2 cups wine, scraping the bottom to de-glaze. Add sliced mushrooms, bring to simmer then cook uncovered 10 min. Preheat Oven to 325˚F.
  4. Return bacon and lamb to pot and add 4 cups broth, 1 Tbsp tomato paste, 1 Tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 Tsp dried thyme and 2 bay leaves. Stir in potatoes and carrots, making sure potatoes are mostly submerged in liquid. Bring to a boil then COVER and carefully transfer to preheated oven at 325˚F for 1 hour and 45 min. When done, potatoes and Pronghorn will be very tender.

 Serves 8...unless you're really hungry - then only serves 4. :-D

WOW that really sounds good!

I have had speed goat just a couple of times.  But I had never really been that impressed with the meat.  Elk is FAR better in my opinion.  I will have to add this one into my list, and try antelope again.  THANKS!

Lars Ray said:

This is a stew I submitted in a Phoenix Chili Cook-off competition and won two years in a row....once with Pronghorn, the second with Elk. I like this stew a lot – and I mean a lot.

American Pronghorn Stew

  1.  Serves 8...unless you're really hungry - then only serves 4. :-D


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