This recipe is a short version of a white braise. Due to the tenderness of the breasts I’ve injected with simple brine and shortened the cooking time to prevent drying out the meat.
My neighbor Steve hunts a lot of game birds so I trade him elk meat for pheasant and grouse. It’s nice to live in a neighborhood that most everyone hunts and enjoys eating the fruits of their hunt.
I like to keep the tough legs of game birds for making stock. Just keep adding to the pile you’ve got in your freezer and once you’ve acquired enough pull out and prepare game stock.
- 4-5 ea Grouse
- 2 T Oil
- ½ Apple Juice
- ½ c Water
- S&P tt
- ¼ c Bacon Fat
- 1 c Leek diced
- 1 pt Oyster Mushroom
- 3 T Flour
- ½ c White Wine
- 1 T Chicken Base (Better than Bouillon)
- 1 pt Half & Half
- 1 tsp Fresh thyme
- 1 T Chives
Clean the grouse free of any pellets, bone fragments, feathers, and blood shot meat.
Using the boneless breast, bone-in thighs, and legs.
Rinse, inject meat with brine, submerge meat in remaining brine and marinate 24-48 hours.
Remove from brine, rinse, pat dry.
Season with Salt & Pepper, dredge in flour. Keep remaining flour if any.
In a straight sided pan, heat the pan, add the oil, heat the oil.
Add the meat to the hot oil, sear.
Add Leek, sweat. Add Mushrooms, sweat.
Add remaining amount of flour creating roux.
Deglaze with wine. Educe wine to dry.
Add Chicken base.
Add Half & Half, bring to boil.
Adjust flavor and consistency. Cover, place in 350-degree oven.
Cook until fork tender, approximately 20 minutes.
Add fresh herbs and cook for another 10 minutes.
Use any small game such as pheasant or rabbit.
Use chicken broth instead of wine.
Substitute butter, or bacon fat for oil.
Use heavy cream in place of half & half.
Substitute vermouth, sherry, or apple juice in place of wine.
Substitute your favorite herb for thyme such as sage.
Use any combination of mushrooms you prefer.
When cooking very lean game bird meat or rabbit meat, remember overcooking dries out the meat.
Injecting a brine will help keep the meat moist and tender, same philosophy why we brine a turkey for Thanksgiving.
Reserve the legs for future use for stock, Eliminating the legs from the recipe will prevent the breast from overcooking and the legs from being chewy.
Always add fresh herbs last, you will get maximum flavor extraction in two minutes or less.
Serve with noodles, polenta, spätzle, boiled potatoes, dumplings, or rice.
Remember when using alcohol that is does flame. Always pour spirits into a cup and then into the hot pan. Never pour spirits directly out of the bottle into a hot pan, especially if the bottle is more than half empty. (explosive)