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Golden Coon

Basic Preparation
1 Raccoon
Cold water
Baking soda

Main Dish
1 ts Salt per lb. of meat
1 Red pepper pod
1 tb Black pepper
Spicewood twigs
Vegetable oil

Basic Preparation:

McCready writes: "The coon offers both food and pelt. Wild-game gourmets relish a coon-graced table.

"Bleeding is of singular importance. The jugular must be opened and the animal hung by its hind feet for thorough bleeding during the earliest possible instant after the kill. Otherwise, the meat spoils rapidly or becomes too gamy for enjoyable eating.

"If the pelt is valued, the coon should be skinned before gutting, even as it is bleeding."

"Cutting just through the skin, circle the fore feet at the first joints. Join these cuts with a cut running down the insides of the legs and across the chest. Circle the hind feet at their first joints and join these cuts with a skin-deep incision running down the inner sides of the hind legs and across the pelvic region. Open the skin on the belly side of the carcass all the way from the anus to the throat. Cut around the tail on the bottom side only, joining this short, semicircular cut to the cut connecting the extremities of the hind legs and peel the legs. Loosen the edges of the belly cut and the cut underneath the tail.

"Now the carcass is turned around, its back facing the hunter, its head still hanging downward. Work the skin loose around the stump of the tail. Then take two strong but thin sticks about eight or ten inches long and place a stick on either side of the exposed tailbone stump. Position the sticks at right angles to the tail, with the tailbone between the sticks about midway in their lengths. By gripping the ends of the sticks in either hand and clamping each pair of ends together, the hunter forms a 'vise' at the root of the tailbone. A firm and even pressure will now slip the tailskin intact off the bone. Be careful not to pull the tail off or tear the pelt.

"The body skin is now removed, using a sharp knife only where necessary, with the skin carefully worked off of the head, trimming off the ears on the underside of the pelt and easing the skin carefully from around eyes and lips."

"And hold everything right there for a moment.

"The musk glands must now be removed. They are pear-shaped, one under each forearm. Without their careful and unbroken removal, the animal will not be fit to eat.

"Next, split the carcass open from crotch to throat, being careful not to puncture the intestines. Remove viscera and inner organs. Cut off the head, naked tailbone, and feet. Split the carcass in half cutting the length of the spine."

"The carcass may now be soaked overnight in cold water which contains a small amount of salt and soda. This draws out vestigal blood. Or an alternate method may be preferred: salt the carcass all over lightly. Then place the salted meat on a sieve or any kind of grill that will permit water to drip out. Leave the carcass overnight in a cool, dry place. Wash the treated carcass thoroughly in cold water and pack it in ice for at least one day before cooking."

To prepare the main dish, remove excess fat, including that between the muscle bands. The fat has an objectionable taste and odor.

Parboil to tender with salt, red pepper pod, black pepper and spicewood twigs added to water. Remove meat and poat off excess moisture. Arrange pieces in a baking pan rubbed lightly with vegetable oil and bake until golden brown at 325 F.

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