Kentucky Fried Squirrel

The Colonel may fry a mean chicken, but he’s got nothing on this extra-crispy version of fried squirrel

By author of Timber 2 Table Wild Game Recipes Print Recipe
prep time
cook time
3-5
serves
16
ingredients
Medium
difficulty

I’ll give the Colonel his due. His chicken is pretty good. But it has nothing on KFS — this extra-crispy version of fried squirrel. We use between 10 and 12 herbs and spices, go ahead and count ’em, for a flavor that is remarkably similar to a famous chicken recipe. 

A double-dipped coating and deep-frying give squirrel an extra-crunchy bite.

What gives this squirrel that extra crunch is the double-dipped dredging method. We coat the squirrel with seasoned flour, run it through a buttermilk-and-egg wash, then toss it in the seasoned flour a second time for a thick crust. Deep-frying sets the crust into a crunchy flavor bomb, keeping the squirrel inside tender and juicy. As with any fried squirrel recipe, choosing younger squirrels will give you a more tender finished dish. Older squirrels can have a bit of chew to them and work better in the slow cooker or stockpot. 

 

Ingredients

2 to 3 young squirrels, dressed and cut into back and leg sections

2 cups buttermilk

2 eggs, beaten

Vegetable or peanut oil for deep-frying


Extra-Crispy Coating

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons garlic salt

2 tablespoons paprika

1 tablespoon mustard powder

1 tablespoon powdered ginger

1 tablespoon white pepper

2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil

1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon celery salt

 

Cooking Instructions

Combine the dredge ingredients in a shallow dish. Pat the squirrel dry, then dredge each piece in the seasoned flour. Move the coated squirrel to a wire rack. Reserve remaining coating mixture.

Mix the beaten eggs and buttermilk in a bowl or shallow dish. Dip the floured squirrel pieces, one at a time, into the egg wash. 

Dip the floured pieces in the buttermilk-and-egg wash before flouring a second time. 
After dipping the squirrel in the egg wash, move each piece back into the seasoned flour for a second coat, then return the coated squirrel to the wire rack.


After tossing the squirrel in seasoned flour and dipping it in egg wash, return it to the flour mixture for an extra-thick coating.

Meanwhile, heat 3 inches of vegetable or peanut oil in a heavy pot over medium-high heat. Once the oil reaches 350 degrees, carefully drop the squirrel, a few pieces at a time, into the hot oil. Don’t overcrowd the pan.


Deep-fry a few pieces at a time until the squirrel is crisp and just cooked through.

Fry for 6 to 9 minutes until the coating is golden brown and crispy. Front leg sections will cook faster than hind legs or back sections. We like to serve the fried squirrel with mashed potatoes and green beans. Top the squirrel, potatoes, or both with milk gravy, if desired. If you make the gravy with some of the leftover breading mixture, the paprika will cause the color to be a little bit orange, but the flavor is worth the unusual color.

Serve with green beans and mashed potatoes smothered in gravy made from the seasoned flour blend.

 

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