More problems at the Shreveport duck pond. We know about the stagnant water and the weed growth, but now we find out nutria rats have invaded the area.

Ricky Bretherton from Vexcon says 25 to 35 of the beaver sized rodents are now living at the duck pond on East Kings. Much like beavers, they chew on trees and can cause them to rot and die. Bretherton says it will cost close to $40,000 to get rid of them.

Nutria have been a problem in south Louisiana for a long time. They reproduce rapidly. A female can have 3 litters a year with as many as 13 pups per litter. To control the population in the southern part of the state, folks have started eating them. Several chefs have come up with specialty recipes for cooking up the varmints.

We thought we'd share a few of these recipes in case you might be interested in catching and trying one of these little guys.

Slow-cooked Nutria
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

Serves four

2 hind saddle portions of nutria meat
1 small onion, sliced thinly
1 tomato, cut into big wedges
2 potatoes, sliced thinly
2 carrots, sliced thinly
8 Brussels sprouts
1/4 glass white wine
1 cup water
2 teaspoons chopped garlic

1. Layer onion, tomato, potatoes, carrots and Brussels sprouts in a slow cooker.

2. Season nutria with salt, pepper and garlic, and place it over vegetables.

3. Add wine and water, cook on a low heat until meat is tender (approximately 1 1/2 hours).

4. Garnish with vegetables.

Nutria à l’Orange

Recipe by Chef Philippe Parola


Mire Poix
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped carrots
1/3 cup chopped onion

2 hind saddle portions of nutria meat
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp vegetable oil

Bouquet Garni
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 bunch parsley
bay leaves

2 cups white wine
1 Tbsp soy sauce
Orange zest minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Place oil, mire poix and bouquet garni in a pan; set aside. Rub each hind saddle with brown sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Place hing saddles on top of other ingredients in pan. Place, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and deglaze with white wine, soy sauce and orange juice. Cover pan with plastic wrap, the cover again with aluminum foil. Place back into oven for 45 minutes to one hour until meat is tender. Break meat off bones. Place on plate then garnish with vegetables, sauce from pan drippings, and orange zest. Makes 4 servings.

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