The Fort Recipe: Rocky Mountain Oysters with Panko


As a little girl, The Fort’s Proprietress Holly Arnold Kinney worked in the kitchen as a prep cook. In her cookbook, “Shinin’ Times at The Fort,” she explains that peeling and cleaning Rocky Mountain Oysters was a routine job and that she “barely gave it a second thought.”

Holly writes:

One day, I invited my sixth-grade school friends to The Fort and before they arrived, I prepared a large bowl of lightly seasoned, deep-fried Rocky Mountain Oysters.

‘These are delicious! What kind of sausage popcorn is this?” One friend asked as she and the others happily downed the little tidbits.

 ‘You are eating buffalo bull testicles with a light breading and salt and pepper,’ I answered.                   

 They looked at me with disbelief – but didn’t stop munching them. To this day, my friends still tell this story with much delight. Now, they bring their friends and children to The Fort and surprise them with the same dish ordered off our menu.”

Feeling adventurous? You can make The Fort’s famous Rocky Mountain Oysters at home using the recipe below. For the best results, ask your butcher for “calf fries,” which are smaller and more tender than “bull fries.”

For this recipe, you’ll need:

  • 6 calf or veal testicles (or turkey testicles may be substituted)
  • 1 c. panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour, seasoned with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Canola oil, for deep frying
  • Sweet Red Chili Sauce (recipe below), for serving

With a sharp paring knife, cut and peel the skin away from the testicles. They will peel and slice much easier if they are slightly frozen. Cut the testicles into one-inch pieces. In a shallow baking pan, combine the panko, black pepper, salt and cayenne. Pat the pieces dry with paper towels before rolling them in the seasoned flour. Heat the oil to 375°F and preheat the oven to 200°F. Fry the breaded “oysters” for three minutes, until a light crust forms. Drain on crumpled paper towels and keep warm in the oven. Serve with Sweet Red Chili Sauce for dipping.

*Note: To make these with panko, the light and feathery Japanese bread crumbs, peel and slice the oysters as described above. Roll them in a mixture of panko, salt and pepper rather than in the seasoned flour.


Sweet Red Chile Sauce

The perfect dipping sauce for Rocky Mountain Oysters, you can also enjoy this sauce over other meats, poultry and eggs. This easy recipe makes about 1 1/2 cups.

  • 3/4 c. chile sauce (found in the ketchup aisle)
  • 3/4 c. hot mango chutney, such as Major Grey’s
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. yellow mustard seeds

In a small mixing bowl, combine the chile sauce, chutney and mustard seed. Chill the sauce for at least six hours to give the flavors a chance to mellow and mingle. Enjoy!


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