If you are searching for a fried snapping turtle recipe, then you probably have already caught the turtle. The most important thing to realize about turtle meat is that it tends to be tough without long cooking. So gather your ingredients and set aside plenty of time.
Drain the Blood
Cut off the dead turtle's head and drain its blood by hanging it by the tail for at least 15 minutes before removing the shell. This will make the cutting-up process a little cleaner as well as make the meat taste better. Some people take it a step further and place the turtle while still alive in clean water for a week so it will purge impurities from its intestines.
Prepare the Meat
Remove the skin from the snapper's neck, legs and tail with a sharp filet knife. It is too tough for eating. If you are working with a large turtle and find fatty deposits, cut them away. Large turtles (10 or more pounds) will have tougher meat, and it will be easier to cook if you slice layers of meat off of its sections. The sections can be cooked like chicken. Soak all of them in milk for an hour or, better yet, overnight.
Season the Portions
Season with your favorite flavoring. Recipes vary, but basically any seasoned flour or cornmeal works fine. Salt and pepper are the most common spices, but you can use whatever flavoring you prefer. Let it sit for a few minutes after coating before frying.
Brown the Meat
Pour an inch of oil into a heavy skillet and heat it until it reaches about 360 degrees. Lay the sections of meat in the skillet without crowding them. Brown them on one side for about five minutes, then flip the pieces and cook them for another five minutes.
Tenderize the Meat
Place the fried portions of meat on a roasting pan and cover them with foil. Place the pan in a 350-degree oven. Roast small turtles for an hour and larger turtle pieces for two hours. It takes this long to tenderize the meat. Otherwise, you will be chewing forever.
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