No other small game animal has evaded me like the blue grouse of the Western High Country. But persistence, and a healthy bit of luck, can pay off — even at 8500 feet.
Pheasant, Grouse, Quail
Grilled quail with foods from the Sonoran Desert: tepary beans, cholla buds, native onions and chiltepin chiles. The quail gets a bit of a glaze from prickly pear syrup. It’s a dish that give you a sense of place, a sense of grounding.
Simply roast quail is the bedrock skill of any quail hunter, or anyone who wants to cook store-bought quail. Roasting these little birds isn’t rocket science, but there are a few tricks to getting it right. Here’s how I do it.
Braised pheasant thighs with parsley roots. Parsley wha? Yep, there is a variety of parsley that grows fat, juicy roots. But parsnips or carrots would work just fine in this lovely, delicate, late-winter recipe.
As much as I like Indian curries, I like Thai curries even more. This is a bright, spicy Thai green curry done with pheasant breasts. It’s actually a lot easier to make than it looks.
Pozole is a classic Mexican soup, and like many Mexican dishes, it comes in red and green. I like both, but this is the green version I make with pheasant or wild pig, hominy, tomatillos, green chiles and avocado. Damn good use for pheasant legs, if I say so myself.
If you’ve never braised pheasant thighs, you’re missing out. Unlike the drumsticks, which can be fiddly, the thighs on pheasants (and wild turkeys) are sublime when slow cooked. This recipe is based on a French one and uses lots of mushrooms.
Nothing is wasted in classical Italian cuisine, including the giblets of birds. This is a venerable variant of the traditional Bolognese sauce made with the hearts, livers and gizzards of ducks or chickens. A great use for giblets — and an easy one to serve the skeptical.