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 Bangor Daily News executive sports editor and outdoor editor in the fall of 1988. He continued to write a weekly column for the paper until his death on Dec. 20, 1994.
One of the nicest men I know is Hurley Campbell, the widely read Louisiana outdoor columnist.
Hurley is a big fan of the Cajun people of South Louisiana and their way of cooking.
Though I’m one who doesn’t particularly like rice (or at least I thought I didn’t), I nevertheless asked Hurley for a Cajun rice recipe during one of our outings together.
Campbell’s Cajun Rice dish:
1 bouillon cube
1 clove garlic
1 cup any type meat, cubed
in ¼-inch pieces
1 chopped onion
½ cup mushrooms
1 cup rice
½ teaspoon soy sauce
dash black pepper
Add bouillon cube to water and cook rice. In separate pan or Dutch oven, add enough cooking oil to brown meat. Add chopped garlic and some red pepper. Shake in soy sauce a little at a time as meat is browning. Now add rice, chopped onion and some pepper, seasoning to taste. You may want to add a little more oil to prevent sticking. Stir well until all ingredients are mixed and good and hot. Serve with barbecued chicken and a cold beer. Aww-right, Hurley.
Ummmmmm … Fried Quail
I have eaten fried quail five times, maybe more. Two years ago on a quail shoot in Bainbridge, Ga., we had fried quail prepared by a man of long experience.
I talked him into sharing his cooking secret:
Split each bird down the back, leaving the breasts intact.
Flatten each bird, breast down. Sprinkle with salt to taste.
Shake each bird in a paper bag containing ½ cup flour.
Fry breast down in skillet containing enough very hot lard to cover birds halfway up. Turn when breast is golden and continue hot-fry until birds are golden all over, turning often to keep from scorching any spots.
Turn down heat, cover and continue as with frying chickens. Birds are ready in about 30 minutes cooking time.
Remove the drain rack and sprinkle lightly with paprika. Use portion of residue in the pan to make desired amount of cream gravy.
Seated around a heaping platter of 30 fried quail on that particular noon in Georgia were the likes of Ed Zern, the clever-writing Field and Stream humor author, The New York Times’ Nelson S. Bryant, Ernie Tucker, Quincy, Mass., Ben Pike, Farmington, and Bob Elliot, Augusta.
Bryant, who brags he cannot turn his back on cooked wild game in any form, called this particular combination, “the best I ever ate, anyplace!”
Working with the sweet, zesty meat off my fifth bird, I had to agree.
Best fried quail I ever ate.