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Muskrat Stew Recipe

Added Oct-2008

The Yankee Cookbook, by Imogene Wolcott, 1939, pg. 279-280

... my most interesting recipe, by far, is that kindly sent me by my good friend the Princess Watawaso, whose father was long Chief of our Penobscot Indians, at their reservation at Oldtown, Maine, and who is herself an admirable and devoted worker with and for her people. She writes me that her people much delight in muskrat stew, and look forward to this delicacy every spring and fall. She adds, "Most people, because of the name 'rat,' shiver, but the muskrat lives only on roots, grasses, and such things."


When dressing the muskrat, one must be very careful not to burst the musk bag. All fat must be cut off, particularly under the front and back legs. Cut up (as for chicken stew), soak overnight. Wash well the next morning, parboil, wash again. Try out in an iron kettle 4 pieces of fat salt pork, sear the muskrat, put in 2 cups of water and cook slowly for 1/2 hour. Peal about 4 good-sized potatoes and cut in half, place on top and season with salt and pepper. When potatoes are almost done, remove lid until all liquid is evaporated. Serve hot.

Source: The Yankee Cookbook, by Imogene Wolcott, Coward-McCann, Inc., NY, 1939.
Contributed by: Laura Gould - July 2008

Ne-Do-Ba Comment - - - The chapter "Cooking in Maine - And Elsewhere" containing this recipe appears to have been contributed by Laura E. Richards.