Cooter Stew

Carmen Brooks

There is more meat to a turtle than looks alone would lead you to believe.  A 12-16-pound snapping turtle will yield about 4-6 pounds of meat—a good amount for Cooter Stew (8-12 servings.)   

Ingredients Seasoning Mix

4-6 pounds turtle meat 2 teaspoons white pepper

1 large onion, chopped 2 teaspoons black pepper

4 potatoes, chopped 1 teaspoon red pepper

4 carrots, chopped ½ teaspoon celery salt

10 ounces cream 1 tablespoon salt

Put the meat (bone in) in a 2-gallon pot and fill with cold water.  Bring to a boil for about 15-20 minutes.   Pour this water off and discard.  This boil is called the “second wash” and boils any impurities off the meat.

Refill the pot with 1 ½ gallons of water.  Place the turtle meat, onion, and seasoning mix in the pot.  Let mixture slow boil or simmer for 5-6 hours.  The meat will break apart and fall off the bone during this slow boil.  Remove the bones and discard.  In the last 30 minutes, add the potatoes, carrots, and cream.  The cream and vegetables will help to thicken the mixture.

When ready, the stew resembles clam chowder.  Add extra salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with crackers, buttered toast, or cornbread.