Here's a favourite holiday recipe, from me to you...
For those of you who have never seen one, a sandhill crane is a very large migratory bird common thoroughout the northern portions of the prairie grain belt and parkland. You may have heard of their nearly extinct cousin the Whooping crane. Although not the most popular game bird in SK, they are huntable, and provided they are cooked right are positively delicious.
But be warned, if you just up-scale granny's turkey or goose recipe the result will be something resembling shoe leather in texture and taste.
First off - forget about a pot or roaster. What you need is a wide, flat sheet of wood. Fresh chipboard works the best. Try and get one direct from the mill so it still has the aroma (bouquet for you up-itty types) of sap, and more importantly is still slightly pliable and springy.
Next stuff the bird with dressing. As for the dressing, you want something a little more strong tasting than usual so be sure to add extra spices to it (wild sage is a nice touch). Also, liberally soak the stuffing with a bottle of whiskey - whichever you prefer but the more aromatic the better. Just a note - since this is for cooking use I suggest you not use your finest sipping hooch, smoothness doesn't matter here, aroma and flavour are what counts.
Now prepare the marinade/baste. Melt a pound of butter (or margarine) and add several ounces of worchestershire sauce, red wine, spices and if desired another bottle of whiskey. Very liberally douse the bird and board with the stuff. Pre-heat your oven to 250 and pop in the bird. Obviously - this is going to take a while cooking such a large bird on such low heat. Here's the important part - every 30min you must turn the bird and generously baste it (the more generous you are with the basting the better the result - soak that puppy!)
When the bird is done (this will probably take the better part of a day). Take it out and let stand for 15 min or so before carving.
When it's finally time to carve and serve, remove the stuffing, throw the bird to the dog and eat the board.