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Louisiana Road-kill Stew
Author: Shiloh

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First, go out and find yourself a good-sized road-kill. This may take a while, because you really shouldn't use totally flattened road-kill, as most of the flavor's gone, as well as the substance of it, and also, it must be authentic road-kill -- the "parking lot" or "back yard" varieties are no longer considered "La Substance Juste" by Martha Stewart, although Andy Rooney is reputed to have said,

"...while most true Americans consider road-kill to be any animal, from a frog to a deer, that has been found on or near the road, dead, usually due to losing a battle with a vehicle, there is no harm in also including in the general category of road-kill the neighborhood feline found in the shopping center parking lot, or even little Jimmy's pet frog that mom throws out into the side yard after discovering that it didn't quite survive being in Jimmy's jeans pocket in the washing machine."

Personally, I favor real road-kill, fresh from the backroads - none of that upscale, trendy "High-Way" or "Interstate" stuff for me - I'm just a common guy with simple, down-home tastes. If it's bigger than a chihuahua, and smaller than a saint bernard, then that's good enough, but for the best flavor I've found that anything in the general range of a large armadillo is pretty good stuff, especially if found on a dirt road, rather than a blacktop.

You gotta have patience, in order to find the proper ingredients, and in order to prepare the stew, because it takes time to do this right. The best way I've found to keep track of whether or not you're spending enough time, and doing it right, is to go by the rule of 47x16, which is the amount of time and effort it takes to drink 47 16-ounce cans of your favorite brew, while looking for and preparing your feast. The reason I capped the count at 47, is that is one less than it usually takes before I can no longer find the steering wheel of my pick-up.

All right now!

Go out and find yourself a good-sized, fresh, road-kill. If you have tried real hard and you can't find a big one, at least 30 to 35 pounds, then you can substitute 5 or 9 smaller ones, and you kinda duct-tape them together real good, so they make one big one.

Tie the road-kill to the back bumper of a faded green 1958 International Harvester pick-up (you didn't know they made pick-ups, did you?) with a rusted logging chain (run the chain through the road-kill a couple times), and proceed to drive real fast down every back road you can find, in and out of every gravel driveway and school bus turnaround (watch those trees!), so you can kinda skin the road-kill and tenderize it at the same time.

After tenderizing the road-kill for about two or two and a half six-packs (remember to toss the empties into that "recycle bin" behind the pickup cab - that thing is so handy!) then it's time to head for the trailer!

Unhook the road-kill and drag it out back to the burn barrel, where you burn your trash and garbage. It helps if you haven't burned stuff for a while and have maybe half a barrel waiting... just dump that road-kill right into the 55-gallon drum you use for a burn barrel, pour in three or five quarts (more or less, according to taste) of #1 kerosene (don't use that cheap #2 grade here - remember, this is "classy" cookin!), and light 'er up!

Grab a couple more beers and a busted canoe paddle from the barn for the other hand, and use the paddle to stir the contents of your "open-air oven," making sure to get the juices from the road-kill mixed in real well with whateverthehellelse is in there... and when the fire finally dies out... it's sure-'nuff ready!

Now here comes the fun part.

Drag the barrel over to the edge of the garden, where the rabbits and the skunks usually come through the fence to chew up the veggies, and up-end that barrel right there! Now use that canoe-paddle stick to kinda spread the contents of the burn barrel around the garden real good - heck, the stink alone will keep almost anything alive away from the garden for a few days, at least, and will give the stuff a chance to grow, so the deer can come in later and have a real feast, and maybe you can jacklight one or two.

Now, take the burn barrel, and with a good pair of industrial tin snips, cut it up into little pieces, and pass them around. (You didn't think we were gonna eat that other stuff, did you?) - serves about 39 adults and maybe half that many kids, third cousins included.

Yuuuummm-mmmmmmhhhhh! Martha Stewart and Chef Boy-R-Dee gave this recipe two spoons up, back in 1998!

Bon Apetite! - (this is an original recipe from hank, that culinary genius of the swamps and bottom lands)

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