Friday, October 07, 2005
Snapping Turtle Any old soup recipe will work for (snapping) turtle soup. The main problem with turtle soup is cleaning the turtle. You have to be certain that every last speck of fat is removed from the meat before cooking. This is not too difficult because the fat is between the skin and the flesh. To butcher a turtle you start by chopping off the turtle's head. Be careful because the head will still bite even after it is removed from the body and the body will still crawl away after the head is removed. Turtles don't die right away. When the body stops trying to crawl away, dip it in boiling water and scrape off the exterior layer of skin, including the shell. The result will be a bright white carcus, compared to the muddy brown-green you started with. Next step is to remove the shell. Cut along grove on each side between the front and back legs. It is the narrowest part of the shell. The tail, neck and all four legs are attached to the top of the shell. Remove from shell and you have the bulk of the meat. However, there will be some meat on the bottom shell and top shell. It is at this point that you remove the fat. Just roll back the skin and with a paring knife and your index finger scrape out the fat.