The most well-known grouse in North America is the ruffed variety, and like most other grouse, it's small -- only about 15 to 20 inches long. Most of its meat comes from the breast, a lean area that has a slightly gamy taste when cooked. Without a moisture boost, the breast has a dry texture, so try braising it in broth, wine or both. The salt and fruit flavors of the liquid will also give the grouse a bolder, richer taste.
Things You'll Need
- Paper towel
- Resealable plastic bag
- 2 tablespoons of white flour per breast
- Brown sugar
- 1 lime
- Vegetable oil
- Frying pan
- Baking dish
- Red wine
- Chicken or beef stock
- Meat thermometer
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Rinse the breasts in cool water, and pat them dry with paper towel.
Place the breasts in a resealable plastic bag and add salt and pepper to taste, along with 2 tablespoons of white flour per breast. Balance the gaminess of the grouse with a pinch of brown sugar and/or lime zest.
Seal the bag and shake it until the the breasts are covered with the dry ingredients.
Place the frying pan on the stove, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and heat the pan to medium-high. Avoid oils with medium or low smoke points, such as olive oil and canola oil; at high heats they can break down and cause the grouse breast to burn.
Move the pan around so the oil covers the bottom and then lay the breast fillets in the pan. Brown both sides of the fillets and then lay them flat in a baking dish.
Add chicken or beef stock and/or red wine to the baking dish. Use enough liquid to cover about half the height of the fillets. Stock and red wine, like brown sugar and lime zest, will counteract the gaminess of the grouse.
Bake the breasts until their internal temperatures reach at least 165 F. This should take about one hour.
Tips & Warnings
- Wrap the breasts in bacon before putting them in the oven to infuse the meat with even more moisture and salty flavoring.
- Check the expiration date of the stock before using to avoid spoiling the meat.
- Don't eat the breast if the internal temperature has not reached at least 165 F.
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