Muttonbirds. seabirds, split and salted for longterm storage.
Muttonbirds are split, salted and folded closed, then packed tightly into food grade plastic buckets.
They keep for a couple of years if you flip the bucket over regularly during storage. (They can be eaten fresh, boiled then grilled on the bbq. ) I was given some that had been frozen and the fat was rancid so I don't do it myself. keep the bucket in the fridge if it makes you feel better but I recomend eating them as the best way of making sure they don't go rancid. Muttonbird boil up.
I cover them with cold water and bring them to the boil, one per person is ok. The longer they have been in the bucket the saltier they are so boil for 10min for each year you have had them to remove excess salt, then drain and cover with water and boil again. Turn down to a simmer, when you can stick a fork in the breast easily turn the heat up a bit and throw in your veg. We do potatos, kumara (sweet potato) and big bunches of well washed watercress the fatter the stalks the better! Now just let it all cook until you can pop a leg easily off a bird and the veg is all cooked and tender.
You can boil them until tender then grill them til the fat is crispy, there is about an inch of fat on them so they crisp up nicely!
the flavour is strong and salty, a little gamey. A really good addition to the winter menu.
Our kids wont touch them! Which is fine, more for us !