Proper preparation of the Jack (Chain Pickerel) Pics Added

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Proper preparation of the Jack (Chain Pickerel) Pics Added

Postby Blackwater » Tue Sep 13, 2005 9:59 pm

Any sized jack is good to eat so if you want a treat keep all you catch.

Cleaning the Jack

Be Careful when handling the jack. These teeth can be dangerous.
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Tools of the Trade, This is a 2LB Jack Freshly Caught, Ready to Clean
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A jack has a slime coat and very tiny scales. the best process is to scrape the slime off the jack and the little scales will come off, washing frequently until the skin is smooth to the touch. Note the angle of the knife as it is drawn back & forth to remove the slime and scales.
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Then cut the head off by cutting down at the back of the head and curving the cut toward the front around the bottom of the gills.
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Stick a sharp knife into the underside at the center of the belly at the backof the body cavity and slice it up the middle of the belly till the knife comes all the way out the front. Scrape out the entrails, taking care to be sure to remove the black organ tissue that is embedded in the very top of the rib cage all along the cavity.
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This is accomplished again by scraping that area and rinsing frequently.
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Gashing the Jack

When the out side is smoooth to the touch and all the inside is shiny clean the lay the jack down with the side flaps that covered the body cavity flared out. DO NOT remove the skin, it will cook up as deliciously as the rest of the fish. The top of the fish is directly up. Then make a vertical slash to the back bone all the way through to the body cavity at about 1 to 1 1/2 inch intervals at right angles to the length down both sides the whole length of the fish. Do not cut through the back bone.
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This is called gashing and it will expose the y bones to the hot oil and they will cook away to nothing. When the gashing passes the body cavity section of the fish then just gash a vertical gash to the bone structure on both sides. Depending on the size of the fish then cut it into frying size chunks cutting straight down on it at right angles again. Draw the knife stright across the back of the fish at right angle so that each piece has 2 -3 gashes in it it on both sides of what you would call a fish steak except that it is gashed. If you have a big jack say 3 lbs or so you will need to cut the chunk long ways in the center to make two chunks. You want each chunk to be appromoximately the same size so that the cooking time for each piece will be approximately the same.
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I put this fish in the freezer. In the following phtos you will see the cooking of the jack as I have thawed it and am now getting it ready for the feast.

Getting the stuff togeather, here we have the fish, oil (Iprefer peanut oil but didn't have any), potatoes, seasoned corn flour. Salt & pepper not pictured.
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Seasoning the Jack

I like to spread my chunks out on a brown paper sack and shower them with a light coating of salt and black pepper.
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When seasoned then shake the chunks in a bag of corn flour, any of the common seasoned fish preparations of corn flour will do. I do not like Uncle Bucks, but rather prefer Louisiana, Fish Fri, or House of Autrey.
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Cooking the Jack

When the fish has been throughly coated with seasoned corn flour then drop each chunk into a deep pan with enough hot peanut oil in it to submerge the fish.
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The oil should be about 330 degrees, no hotter, and the fish will cook in 3-4 minutes till golden brown, Drain each piece separately until there is no oil dripping, then place it on paper towels or brown paper bag or a cardboard box lined with something so that until the draining and cooling process is well underway you don't pile them up. After they have dried well and cooled a little, you can pile them up to make room for some more coming out of the oil. These last few instructions for handling the fish coming out of the oil apply to any fried fish not just jack. If you done't drain them well individually and avoid piling them up too quickly, the fish will be greasy. Follow my instuctions and every piece will be crisp and greaseless.
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Eating the Jack

When the jack has cooled sufficiently, then pick up a chunk and take a bite. You will find that you can eat almost all the fried chunk of fish except maybe the backbone in a larger fish. The y bones will have generally dsappeared. Eating a smaller jack will leave almost no scraps at all. Thats the real deal on frying up a mess of jack. In South Carolina we would put on fish frys where all we served was jack and the turn out would be phenomonal. These fish are so tasty they will spoil you for most any others. Always remember that the fresher the fish the better and if cooked the same day caught that is the best, but the jack does feeze well.
This picture shows 100% of the scraps that were left when my wife & I finished eating the jack. ONly the backbone is left. We ate everything else.
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Now go catch some jack and cook them.[/img][/img]
Last edited by Blackwater on Fri Mar 17, 2006 9:18 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Postby jjohnson » Tue Sep 13, 2005 10:32 pm

Bill, THis is also the way many of the old timers prepare a sucker. There are some here that fish Brier Creek for suckers and have a big fish fry with them and that is how they cook them. They do this like a religious rite each year when the suckers are running. They are almost as dedicated to this as a coon hunter is to his hobby.
Thanks for the cooking lesson.
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Postby Blackwater » Tue Sep 13, 2005 10:44 pm

JJ

Do you mean Red Horse? I can rememebr when the red horse suckers would run up the Three Runs Creek and we would gig them for frying.
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Postby jjohnson » Tue Sep 13, 2005 11:32 pm

BlackwaterBill wrote:JJ

Do you mean Red Horse? I can rememebr when the red horse suckers would run up the Three Runs Creek and we would gig them for frying.


Bill,
I don't know which sucker it is but I do know that they still run in Brier Creek, Sandy Run and Boggy Gut Creek and some of the old locals catch them on hook and line. they use a tiny hook and a red wiggler.
The suckers would crowd lakes to the extent that my father and a friend would use gill nets and catch them out of the ponds for the owners. The Richmond Factory Pond here in South Augusta is one of them.
I have never been sucker fishing but would love to find a person that has a place here locally and let me go with them. I hear that they really give a good fight on a rod and reel.
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Postby Cullfisher » Tue Mar 07, 2006 10:43 pm

Thanks for the pictures Blackwater. I am sure this will help anyone that was going to cook a jackfish.
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Postby sumtershoaliefan » Tue Mar 07, 2006 11:04 pm

Thanks for the pics Bill. We'll have to get together sometime and catch a mess of jacks and have us a fish fry.

SSF
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Postby Creekstalker » Tue Mar 07, 2006 11:37 pm

What the Frying Pan forum lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality. Great post!

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Postby BasserDrew » Wed Mar 08, 2006 12:19 am

That was an excellent write up. If I ever decide to not be lazy and keep some of these I will now know how to prepare them.
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Postby shoalieman » Sat Mar 18, 2006 11:42 am

Excellent pictorial and writeup, you made my fata$$ hungry w/ the pics of the fried up jack chunks!!!
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Postby AthensDog » Sat Mar 18, 2006 12:13 pm

Great writeup Blackwater. That is similar to how we used to cook up redfin pike (aka grass pickerel) that we would seine up down on the Alapaha River(probably illegall). They were much smaller and we would clean them, gash them, fry them whole, and pretty much eat the whole fish. They were very tasty.
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Postby MacBass » Sun Mar 19, 2006 2:22 pm

Everyone should be thankful that Bill didn't take a pic of the entire process......which he thought about......

Blackwater knows what I am speaking of........
Go Gators!!!!!!
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Postby hooker » Sun Mar 19, 2006 10:21 pm

TMI
________
buy vaporizers
Last edited by hooker on Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Cullfisher » Sun Mar 19, 2006 11:49 pm

I can only imagine...........
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Postby Blackwater » Mon Mar 20, 2006 10:38 am

Gross animals...
"Buzzards gotta eat, same as worms." Josey Wales

"But hey Pappy, they integrated!'" Jr to Pappy O''Daniel
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