This hearty soup is the classic flavor you know and love, but with protein from limb chickens rather than real chickens. Squirrel meat is a little darker than most poultry, creating a richer, more savory broth. This is a delicious recipe that the whole family will love.
- 4 squirrels
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 2 celery sticks, sliced
- Half a head of garlic, chopped (6-8 cloves)
- Bouquet garni: sprigs of fresh thyme, rosemary, and parsley tied together with twine
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 3 quarts poultry stock (16 cups), plus more if needed
- 2-3 cups egg noodles
- 2-3 tbsp. oil, clarified butter, or schmaltz for cooking
- Salt and pepper
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- Break the skinned squirrels down into 6 serving pieces by cutting off all four legs at the hip and shoulder joints, then cutting the body in half. Season each piece with salt and pepper.
- Heat a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of cooking fat and brown the squirrel pieces, making sure to not over-crowd the pan. Work in batches and add more oil or clarified butter if needed. After each piece has browned, remove and set aside.
- Add another tablespoon of cooking oil to the pan. Once the fat shimmers, add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the celery, carrots, and garlic. Continue to sauté until they begin to soften.
- Return the squirrel to the pot and squeeze lemon juice over the top. Drop in the bouquet garni and season with black pepper. Pour in all of the stock and stir to combine.
- Increase the heat until the liquid just barely begins to bubble, then reduce it to low and maintain a gentle simmer. You can skim scum off the top as it cooks. Cook for roughly 3 hours, or longer, until the meat is fork-tender. Don’t cover the stock pot while cooking so that the liquid reduces into a rich and flavorful broth.
- Use tongs to fish out each piece of squirrel and the bouquet garni. Use your fingers or a fork to shred the meat off the bones. Discard the bones and place the shredded meat back in the pot.
- Increase the heat so that the soup comes to a boil. Add the egg noodles, one handful at a time until you reach the desired amount. Gently simmer the soup until the egg noodles are soft, about 10 minutes. Add more stock if the soup reduced too much, or if the ratio of noodles-to-liquid is off.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped celery or parsley leaves if desired.