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anybody know how to cook a turtle?

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Last year we had a snapping turtle that was a real nusiance at one of our prime fishing spots. He was prone to eat your fish off the stringer while you were fishing! This year I have been studying up on how to catch a turtle using set lines (kind of like the fellows do on Swamp People for alligator, only the bait is in the water). It would be interesting to cook it after I catch it, as I understand turtle is quite delicious, but tough. Could I use the crock pot? Could I pressure cook it? Anybody got first hand experience?post-2444-0-65496300-1397442610_thumb.jpg

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I caught a big one, but I've never cooked one. I've heard that it must be cleaned *very* well or the meat taste suffers. :yuk: Maybe you keep it in clean water for a day or two first???





(OK, you didn't ask, but this is how I caught mine.) :)

My Dad told me to try using an empty milk bottle (rinsed and lid on) as a "bobber"/float. Attach a triple-hook with strong fishline to the jug, and then tie a strong rope to it and tie it to something on the bank that won't move into the water. (I used a tree stump by the bank.)


Bait the hook well with chicken liver.


The turtle will bite it hard and try to go into deeper water. The bobber/float will show you that he's got the hook, and just where he is.


DH laughed at me when I tried it, saying I'd never catch one. Then I looked out our window and saw the jug headed further out into the pond... :o


He wasn't laughing when he pulled it out and it was about 18" long. It pushed a cement block aside while trying to get away. The jaws were very, very strong.

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One of the Survivor Man shows mentioned he got sick when he ate a turtle on one of his adventures.... Wiki has a little info on that... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turtle_soup.


However, my Mother made turtle soup when we were growing up.


Here's a few ways to cook it:





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the float line fishinging is illegal in my state, Cat, but I can get a permit for a bank set - a strong hook & line is fastened to a pole stuck in the bank (or to a tree limb) with bait attached. That is probably what I will try, since the only traps we are allowed cost about $50 each - too expensive for me for experimentation. I can see why you don't see too many around here. A fish should work for bait on a good sturdy hook, since he is already used to stealing off stringers.....Tags are $5 for each line, and have to check it daily. That I can handle.


I'm thinking I'll try the soup since that is what I hear the most praise for.


I can just see my neighbors face when he sees me with a snapper in the back yard, cutting it up...he has just about decided I was a little nuts for cooking up carp, he'll think I've lost it with the turtle! (Of course, that means I just have to show him....if only to gross him out.) Maybe I can get some frogs too...I've had frog legs, and they are GOOOD!

Edited by kappydell
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I found some instructions in one of my mother's old cook books. "THE AMERICAN WOMAN'S COOK BOOK"


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~




Cut off the head and let the turtle lie in cold water 1/2 hour or hang on a hook with the neck down until blood stops dripping. Then wash and drop into boiling water and cook for 10 minutes. Pour off the water and cover the turtle with cold water, letting it stand until cool enough to handle easily; then rub the nails and black skin from the legs with a towel.


Wash the turtle carefully, place it in a saucepan covered with boiling water and simmer until flesh is tender. This will be when the joints of the legs can be broken with a slight pressure and the shell separate easily. It will take from 30 to 60 minutes, until the skin is like jelly. Remove the turtle from the water and cool slightly, place it on its back with the head end away from you and loosen and remove the under shell.


The liver, gall bladder and sand bag will be found near the head end, the gall being attached to the left side of the liver. Take out the gall as you would that of a chicken, being careful not to break it. Remove the entrails and throw them away.


Take out the eggs, if there are any, remove the slight membrane and drop them into cold water. Cut all the meat very fine, saving any water that may collect in the shells. The turtle is now ready to use in a stew or in other ways.




1 onion, chopped

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon flour

1 bay leaf

1 clove garlic

1 cup water

2 pounds turtle meat, diced

1/4 cup sherry


Cook onion in butter; blend in flour. Add remaining ingredients and simmer 30 minutes. Serves 6.


- - - - - - - - - - -




6 hard-cooked egg yolks

2 tablespoons butter

2 cups cream

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Few grains allspice

Few grains nutmeg

2 cups cooked turtle meat

Patty shells or toast


Mash egg yolks and blend with softened butter. Heat cream in double boiler and mix gradually with egg yolks. Add seasoning and turtle meat and cook 15 minutes in double boiler. Serve in patty shells or on toast.




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those look delicious....now i just have to catch one!

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One of my sisters use to make it and it was really good. She fried it like chicken and I'm not sure if after she browned it she may have put it in the pressure cooker for a bit, or put it in the oven to finish cooking.. I can't remember for sure and I can't ask her as she has been gone several years now. If I get a chance to talk to one of her kids, they might remember and if I do, I will let you know for sure. :) But, like I said, what I had was good.

I tried to cook it one time, but, it tasted fishy so haven't tried in probably 30 + years now. It had just come out of the river and was still in very slow motion. :);)


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