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foodiemumontheroad

Eating Seagull (or KF Seagull)

by foodiemumontheroad published on

Vermin with wings? Chicken of the sea? Or just an opportunity missed?




First and foremost, before we all go on a mad seagull killing frenzy. In the U.K it is against the law to kill seagulls or interfere with their nests under the countryside and wildlife act. Some Councils are allowed to cull them however, and usually do this by either poisoning or shooting them.




 




How to catch your seagull. Remember this is against the law in the U.K. I don't want the Men in Blue knocking at the door because someone said that Foodimum told them it was okay to catch and eat seagulls. It isn't...




 Put some bait on a hook on a fishing line. Fling the bait up in to the air so that the seagull goes for it and reel it in. Break its neck as you would a chicken.




 Someone also tried an interesting technique here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWuyKPGxhFo




 I haven't tried any of the recipes below but if you do live somewhere where catching seagulls is legal and you have a go please let me know!




 Seagull Recipe 1: Sautéed Seagull




(adapted from http://everything2.com/title/Dutch+Seagull+Recipe:




 Pluck and prepare the seagull as you would a chicken and joint or quarter.




 Soak the meat in heavily briny water in a cold place (the fridge?)for 12 hours. This is to try and remove the fishy taste. Do this again at least 3 times, each time throwing away the old salty water and replacing it with fresh briny water.




 Lightly sauté the meat in butter, onions, lots of garlic and herbs and then add stock. Simmer for 3 hours. After 3 hours throw the liquid away. A voilà.




 Recipe 2: Fricassee of Seagull




(Inspired by the cookbook "Cooking by Marguerite" (1999, published by Benedict Jacob))




 Boil the seagull carcass for 2 hours in lightly salted water. Mince the flesh, and add to a hot pan of sesame oil, sliced beetroot, beansprouts, white wine or cider vinegar and vermouth. Serve with raisins or melon.




I would imagine that this would be a rather intense experience with hot oil sizzling and perhaps the vermouth igniting.




 Recipe 3:KF Seagull




 I found references to Seagulls being referred to as 'Sea going chickens' in the Channels Isles and that inspired this recipe.




 I think that as with rooks the younger birds would be more succulent and if I had a choice I would like to feed the young seagull squab on oatmeal and cooked vegetables for a bit before dispatching it. I also think that you would need more than one bird to make a decent meal.




INGREDIENTS:




1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 tablespoon celery salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon dry mustard
4 tablespoons paprika
2 cups plain flour
Dried breadcrumbs
2 eggs
Diced Seagull
Vegetable oil




 Preheat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius.




 Place everything in a bowl except the breadcrumbs, eggs, diced seagull and oil. Dip the meat into the beaten egg then the breadcrumbs then the herby floury mix.




 Place all your pieces on an oven tray and cover with foil. Cook for 30 min’s then uncover and cook for another 30 min’s uncovered. Baste with the oil and cook for 5 more minutes. Allow to stand and serve.




 As I say, I haven't tried any of the recipes so the timings might be out....




 Well, I think the challenge is complete. I wonder if any of the recipes work......? If I find a way of legally obtaining a seagull I'll let you know.




http://foodiemumontheroad.blogspot.com/2011/02/eating-seagull-or-kfseagull.html

7 replies
Replied on

I think the point I'm trying to make is- are we missing out on a good food source because we are too squeamish? We don't know that it tastes horrible. I'm not advocating hunting and killing seagulls for food but merely having more of a ponder about whether we've overlooked a reliable source of protein. Many towns see them some gulls as a pest so eating them would also potentially solve this problem.

Replied on

Instead of throwing your baited hooks in the air you would be bettert to go to the seafront on a quite morning start to feed the sea gulls till they came [they wont take long] throw your baited hook on the ground then hang on to your line, despatch the bird and go, provided you wernt spotted you have your bird [highly illegal and at risk of a big fine]
For something that may or may not taste that good ?? personally i would go for pidgeons available all year and legal to, jim

Replied on

Ewe ....i dont fancy eating any of that.... i know they are classed as vermin ...but !

Replied on

Thanks for that Richard. Do you mind if I pop that on my blog?

Replied on

It's worth clarifying the legal position, both for "seagulls", and for "pigeons" and indeed "crows".

Under some circumstances it IS indeed legal to kill one of the gull species, and take the eggs of two, but the many others are protected all the time.

It is NOT legal to kill some species of pigeon, and for the three "pest" pigeon species it is only legal under very particular circumstances. The same applies to the other "pests", including the common crow species.

The two most important things are to know the law, and to be able to identify birds BEFORE you shoot them. Sadly many shooters I've met seem to be quite vague on both these points.

The main law (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1981/69) is the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (WCA) Section 1 (1) (1): thou shalt not harm a wild bird, and WCA S 1 (2) (b): thou shalt not possess any part of such bird. This law covers ALL wild birds, including all gulls and all pigeons, crows etc.

However, you can kill or possess a bird if taken lawfully: WCA S 1 (3) (a).

The main relevant legislation that allows lawful killing is the "general licences" (http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/regulation/wildlife/licences/generallicences.aspx#a), especially the one which allows "authorised persons" to kill or take the eggs of certain birds "to prevent serious damage or disease" (http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/Images/wml-gl04_tcm6-24149.pdf).

The current licences run for the whole of the calendar year of 2011, and they do sometimes change from year to year. They currently list just one gull (the lesser black-backed) and three pigeons (collared dove, feral pigeon and woodpigeon). Also the common crow species, but not raven. Herring gull eggs can also be taken or destroyed for human health protection (a different licence, the one for public health or safety).

You do not have to apply for the general licences: they automatically cover anyone authorised by the landowner, except those previously convicted of wildlife crime.

You can only kill birds under a general licence when other non-lethal methods have failed.

All this means that it is illegal to kill, for example, woodpigeon solely for food or sport: it must be for the protection of crops when other methods have failed. So, if a farm had a history of woodpigeons seriously damaging rape crops, and gas guns no longer dissuaded them, it would then be legal to shoot them. However, on a grass farm with no pigeon damage, or where non-lethal methods had not been tried, it would NOT be legal.

Similarly with lesser black-backed gulls, crows, rooks etc: you have to be able to show that they were causing serious damage or disease, and that other methods had failed.

And then... When you are shooting your woodpigeon, are you certain it is not the very similar stock dove, which is fully protected under all circumstances? Most people don't know the difference, and many don't even know of the existence of stock doves. When shooting your feral pigeon, are you certain it's not a wild rock dove (the same species), or, again, a stock dove? Collared dove from turtle dove? Lesser black-backed gull from greater black-back, herring gull, or even yellow-legged gull (which has an intermediately grey back). Can you recognise a raven, which is fully protected, and is now again widespread in lowland Britain? (I can't always immediately tell a raven from a crow even with binoculars.)

If you are not utterly confident about these identifications, to be honest you should stick to pheasants and rabbits while you practise with binoculars and a bird book.

If you go birdwatching to see stock doves, you will find that they are always extremely shy. I strongly suspect this is because they are used to being shot at in mistake for woodpigeons. Likewise wild rock doves, and indeed ravens.

Incidentally, I have had LBB gull eggs (many years ago, when the law was different). They were lovely, with no hint of a taste of rubbish tip... (We were marooned on an island at the time, with nothing else to eat apart from limpets and seaweed.)

Richard

Replied on

It would be wouldn't it....I think the older birds that we generally see would be a bit tough though. What do you think?
I'm thinking that the younger birds although they have less meat on them would be more tender and if they were slow cooked or marinated for a long time might even be rather nice. I think I'll have a word with the council to see if I can get my hands on a gull and if I can I'd blog about it on here....I do occasionally see one that's been hit by a car.

Replied on

What if you accidently shot one 'cos a pigeon flew near it? ;) And it would be a crime in its self to waste it!

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