The Whole Swan Cookbook - Utah Wildlife Network

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Old 11-18-2014, 10:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Whole Swan Cookbook

I love the taste of swan. They don't taste like mud or algae like geese or those sewer pond dwelling ducks do. I think swan is as close in flavor to a wild turkey as anything. During the fall migration the birds get that 'nutty' flavor from living on the rhizomes of the Sago Pondweed. A swan tongue is even designed to rake off the pondweed rhizomes (some call them seeds) from the plant. During good water years like this year the Great Salt Lake freshwater marsh is ripe with Sago Pondweed and ducks and geese and swans.

This thread is an attempt to show the some different ways to prepare swan for the table. We'll take a young swan and cook up as many of the 'parts' as we can:


The breasts will be prosciutto; the carcass, tongue, neck and giblets will go in the gumbo pot. The liver will be hors d'oeuvres, as always. Any fat will be rendered. I haven't decided what to do with the legs, thighs and wing meat yet.
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Old 11-18-2014, 10:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Seems like a confit is in order for those legs. Can't wait to see how this plays out, 'cause I need to start hunting these tasty delights!
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Old 11-18-2014, 07:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnycake View Post
Seems like a confit is in order for those legs. Can't wait to see how this plays out, 'cause I need to start hunting these tasty delights!
Normally I bake the legs and thighs with some dressing, Thanksgiving turkey style. Although one time we made whole swan summer sausage out of two swans and some pork.

A confit sounds fun but I used the rendered swan fat for gumbo rue and I'm curing the breasts, making prosciutto.

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Old 11-18-2014, 08:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Huh, wish I wouldn't have thrown mine in the garbage can now.
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Old 11-18-2014, 08:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Kidding of course...
I just pulled mine out of the brine and waiting till tomorrow for the smoker. Can't wait!
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default swan fat

Trimmed as much fat off of the outside of the bird as I could and saved back the kidney fat.

Placed the fat and 1/2 cup of water in a small pot over low heat. Cooked the fat for 2 hours adding another 1/2 cup of water after an hour or so.

While hot the oil was strained twice through a couple layers of cheesecloth. Made about 1/2 cup of swan oil, just enough for gumbo rue.



Swan oil has a mild, sort of nondescript, flavor.

I put salt and pepper on a crackling and found it to be too tough to chew.

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Old 11-18-2014, 09:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default swan neck

Swan necks are 18" to 22" long and have enough meat on them to make a pot of gumbo. Skin the neck and cut into 1 1/2" long pieces.

Immature swan neck:



Here's 8 or so pieces of cleaned neck bones for gumbo:


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Old 11-18-2014, 09:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I saw the heart. I like this game. Its kinda like name that...
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I thought with dead swans you were just suppose to sit there and poke them with a stick?
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Old 11-18-2014, 10:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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How much fat is in the skin? More or less than your average goose?
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