I received a request from a reader who is an avid upland bird hunter. This recipe is for Sharp- Tailed Grouse, but can be used for duck or goose as well. I have recommended a brining for the meat, as it is a dark red meat and will benefit from the treatment.

Prepare 4 servings of long grain and wild rice. When preparing use chicken broth instead of water, and add a ¼ stick of unsalted butter

Coarsely chop the following:
8 oz. of Portabella mushrooms (sauté the mushrooms & onions in a stick of unsalted clarified butter)
3 green onions
¾ cups pecans
1 cup of dried cranberries

Cook the mushrooms & green onions until soft, add cranberries and pecans-stir for 2 minutes.

Now add the chicken broth. (The instructions on the rice package will tell you how much rice and water to use for the 4 servings. Be sure to substitute broth for water.)

After adding the broth. stir well, bring to a boil and add the rice. Stir well to blend, add ½ TSPN of rubbed Sage, stir again, cover and reduce heat to a simmer and cook until rice is tender. Remove from heat.

Preparing the Grouse
The Grouse by its very nature tends to have dark red meat on the legs and breasts, and due to their frequent flights and diet, they contain a strong tasting meat. I highly recommend a light ice water brining session over several hours and changing the water out at least once or twice to remove most all of the blood and adrenaline from the meat.

This recipe will require 4 boned Grouse breasts. Using a light stippled mallet, place the breast on a piece of plastic wrap on a good flat cutting board or surface, then cover with another piece of plastic wrap (to prevent spraying the meat’s juices) and pound the breast to tenderize but be careful not to put holes in the meat. Take the pounded breast, one at a t time, place 3/4 cup of the cooked rice on the breast. Roll the breast meat around the rice mixture and wrap with 2 strips of thin sliced bacon. Be sure to wrap tightly and then seal with toothpicks. Place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap to protect and return to the refrigerator until ready to grill.

Combine the following ingredients and heat over medium high heat until brought to a boil.

1 Cup Shiraz Wine (I like the peppery flavor of this wine, Merlot can be used as well.
½ jar -Texas Gourmet’s Jalapeno-Kiwi Jelly
1- Teaspoon- Rubbed Sage
2 cloves – Garlic minced
2 TBSPNS- Olive Oil- Extra Virgin would be preferred
1/3 Teaspoon- freshly cracked black pepper

Once boiling, stir well for about 3 to 4 minutes then remove from heat and reserve for basting and glazing.

Grill the wrapped meat indirectly over mesquite charcoal (or apple wood if available) at about 375 degrees.

Baste every 5-6 minutes, keep lid closed when not basting. Cook until meat is nicely caramelized and juices run clear (10-12 minutes). Remove from grill and transfer to a platter and cover tightly with a piece of foil for 5-7 minutes to rest and to aid in the redistribution of juices. Carefully remove toothpicks before serving.

Suggested Appetizer
Cream Poblano Pepper Soup- This recipe is readily available for download at our site @www.texasgourmet.com and just go to the cookbook.

Suggested Sides
Brussel Sprouts: Steam brussel sprouts for about 15 minutes. Then stir fry the sprouts with fresh garlic, crispy bacon and black pepper, and a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice.

Sliced sweet potatoes with unsalted butter and Sweet Chipotle Season All.
“Most of the time, people serve sweet potatoes either candied or fried. I developed this recipe when I didn’t have the time to bake them whole, and I really like the flavor of them with the Sweet Chipotle. You actually taste the vegetable flavor. It’s great! “ – Bryan Slaven

Rinse and slice 3 medium sized sweet potatoes into ¼” thick slices. Arrange at an angle in a glass pyrex just big enough to hold them. Slice a cold stick of butter into 1/8” pats and place in between slices. Sprinkle with Texas Gourmet’s Sweet Chipotle Season All. Cover and seal with foil. Place in preheated oven @400 degrees for approx. 30-40 minutes. Check for tenderness. When done, remove from oven but keep covered until ready to serve.
Bon Appétit!