Woodcock and Wild Rice Pilaf or Soup

woodcockThis side dish or soup is part of our Thanksgiving feast every year.  It allows for more people to taste the little morsels of woodcock in a rich, earthy, side dish.


  • 1-2 woodcock, boneless, skinless breast and leg meat, diced with silver-skin removed
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice, rinsed
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ cup chopped nuts, such as shagbark hickory, almonds, or pecans (optional)
  • 1 cup diced mushrooms (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter (or olive oil). Add shallot and woodcock meat (plus the mushrooms and nuts if using) and gently sauté for 3-5 minutes until fragrant. Add the rice and saute, stirring lightly, about one minute more. Add the chicken broth and parsley.
  2. Increase heat to medium high and bring mixture up to a gentle boil.  Reduce heat and cover with a lid.
  3. The rice mixture should be gently simmering, but not boiling at this point. Cook for about 45 minutes. Uncover and fluff rice with a fork. Simmer an additional 5 minutes, uncovered. The rice should be tender, but not mushy. Drain any excess liquid. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and fresh black pepper to taste.

This can be made into a soup!

  1. Wisk ¼ cup of flour with ½ cup of chicken stock to make a paste. Stir this into the rice mixture. Slowly stir in 3 more cups of chicken broth and ¼ cup sherry or sweet vermouth. Cook, while stirring, until broth is slightly thickened, add ½-1 cup of light cream. Stir until heated through without boiling the soup. Serve with a little parsley sprinkled on top.

Nutrition Fact Labels are not available for woodcock.

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