Garcelon’s Grape and Woodcock

Posted June 29, 2010, at 11:06 a.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 12:20 p.m.

One of Maine’s foremost bench-shooting advocates and sportsman is an Augusta dentist, Dr. Alonzo P. Garcelon. Garcelon has hunted game around the world. His trophy room contains all the evidence.

I tell you this only to emphasize that Dr. Garcelon’s supper favorite comes from the woods, within five miles of his Augusta office.

“I know no other game bird offering a tastier eating quality than the marvelous and tiny woodcock,” he says.

Dr. Garcelon’s favorite method of preparing woodcock for the table:

“Since woodcocks are so small, figure on one to two per person. Sprinkle the woodcock inside and out with pepper, salt and flour.

“Brown all sides in generous amounts of butter.

“Cover and simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes, or until tender. Add a handful of seedless green grapes and cook for another five minutes. I then add two tablespoons of dry Madeira and cook for another two minutes. If I am at home or at camp in Rangeley, I usually serve the birds on toast with the pan juices. You can complete the job by cooking up some wild rice. Makes an excellent breakfast, lunch or even dinner.”

Take my words, friends. The Dr. Garcelon way of preparing the rich and tasty woodcock is a showstopper.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: The Best of Bud is a compilation of some of the advice and recipes gathered by the late Ralph W. “Bud” Leavitt who retired as the BDN’s executive sports editor and outdoor editor in the fall of 1988. He contin-ued to write a weekly column for the paper until his death on Dec. 20, 1994. During his nearly half century as the BDN’s outdoor columnist he penned more than 13,000 columns and one book, Twelve Months in Maine. He starred in his own TV program, The Bud Leavitt Show, that aired on the Hildreth Network for 20 years and the nationally acclaimed Woods and Waters outdoor program on the Public Broadcasting System. While some of the folks Bud in-terviewed have died, their contributions and memories remain with us.

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