OK, I’ll admit it: I like Sad Panda’s orange chicken. The combination of crispy, sweet, spicy and tart is more or less crack cocaine to humans, and I am not immune. Here’s my version of that recipe, done with pheasant, grouse, quail, turkey or partridge.
Cajun or Creole dirty rice is the easiest way to start eating the giblets of the birds you bring home. The recipe gets its name from finely chopped liver that’s added to the rice, along with ground up hearts and gizzards. Basically this is Cajun fried rice. And it’s damn good.
Roast partridge, grouse or quail is a wonderful idea, but in practice the bird often comes out dry. Pan roasting is a far better way to roast game birds. This is by far the best way to cook upland birds, or small, skinny ducks like teal.
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.
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.
Most of us know about duck confit — where you salt duck legs, then slow cook them in duck fat until they are meltingly tender, then you crisp them up in a hot oven? Yeah, that’s confit. There’s a reason it’s all over restaurant menus, but check it: This process works great with pheasant and other upland game birds, too!
An old Spanish recipe for partridges, you sear the birds then simmer them in a vinegary sauce and store in jars in a cool place, like a fridge. I like to take a couple partridges out and eat them at room temperature, while watching football…