|Number of Servings: Varies
Brine for about 10 pounds of birds filleted into 3/8 to 1/2 inch thickness:
2 quarts water
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup non iodized salt
1/8 cup Season All
1/8 cup Hickory Smoke Salt
1/4 ounce pepper
Pinch garlic salt
Add all ingredients to water and stir until dissolved in water. Add fillets and mix to coat the fillets well with brine.
Leave in brine about 3 hours for waterfowl and 2 1/2 hours for upland birds. Stir 2-3 times while birds are in brine to better expose them to the brine.
As fillets are removed from the brine to position on the smoker racks wash them well with cold water to remove excess surface salt. This keeps the meat from being too salty, particularly the upland birds whose flesh is more susceptible to soaking up salt.
Smoke for 3 hours using three skillets full of chips, one per hour. I change chips when they have stopped smoking which takes about one hour.
Then remove the fillets from smoker and put on 2-3 cookie sheets with about a 3/4 inch or higher lip all around. The loaded cookie sheets are put in the oven and cooked at 300 degrees F until the fillets are cooked through.
Check them by cutting through the thickest pieces. The cooked fillets are then ready to eat or freeze.
Notes & Variations:
The reason for the lip on the cookie sheets is that during cooking, liquid cooked from the fillets collects on the cookie sheets and not on the oven floor. During cooking check the liquid build up and pour it off if it gets too deep.
A Little Chief Smoker works good.
This recipe is good for smoking ducks, geese, pheasant, chukar, quail and other upland game birds.
Contributor: Howard Gardner