First off, let me point out that people do eat raccoon in some areas of the country. They taste like chicken (seriously) and tend to have a flavor that is influenced by what they were eating. If they were a trash panda, you never know what you'll get. If they were foraging, they'll taste a bit gamier.

Don't eat a raccoon that has rabies or is acting weird. Also, in some areas like the Rocky Mountains, raccoons may have a gut parasite that can be deadly to humans if left untreated. If you're still wanting that dead raccoon to be the centre of your elegant shotgun weddin' feast, here's a tasty recipe.

What You Need:

What You Do:

  1. Slice one onion into quarters, break layers up and place on bottom of large lined crockpot.
  2. Thoroughly wash the raccoon under cold running water.
  3. Debone raccoon and cut into inch to inch and a half chunks. Place into crockpot.
  4. Stick whole cloves into the meat about an inch apart.
  5. Kosher salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Crumble up the bay leaves and sprinkle over the meat.
  7. Finely chop up one onion, celery, and bell pepper, add to crockpot.
  8. Add sliced mushrooms.
  9. In a bowl, add onion soup, mushroom soup and three cans of water.
  10. Stir until mixed well and pour over crockpot contents slowly.
  11. Cook on highest setting for 30 minutes.
  12. Reduce to low and cook for 8 hours or overnight.

Serve over egg noodles or Basmati rice. While it's cooking tan and salt the pelt so you can make a Daniel Boone hat.

A friend of mine serves raccoon, fresh road kill, cleaned and roasted.

"How likely is it to be rabid?" he asks.

I've already tasted it. "Shouldn't you do your damn research before you serve it? Or clean it, for that matter."

Having less appetite, I go home and research.


This is a Pacific Northwest racoon. It was warm on the highway, just hit, so one can't judge behavior. But as you can see, it's the east coast to midwest raccoons that one should be particularly wary of eating. Here is the 2015 US rabies report: Bats are number one and raccoons are number two. "Globally, 59,000 people die of rabies each year. Greater than 98% of these deaths are due to the rabies virus variant that circulates in domesticated dogs." When my son goes off on exchange through the Rotary, he has a Health Department Travel Clinic visit. He is going to Trang, in southern Thailand, so the recommendation is to immunize against Japanese encephalitis*. The vaccine itself is dangerous enough that he has to wait 30 minutes after each of three shots and not leave town for two weeks after each. However, Japanese encephalitis can melt your brain, so he gets the shot. He is enjoined not to pat any stray dogs in Trang or anywhere in Thailand, because of rabies. And he has to take one year's worth of prophylaxis to prevent malaria with him.

I do think that it is a good idea to do a little checking before you clean, cook, serve or eat the racoon stew. I also highly recommend your local travel clinic. They get updated information from the CDC and WHO. I don't get that information because it is very expensive.

None of us get rabies from the roast, but my enthusiasm for dinner with that friend is quite lessened.


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