Friday, October 16, 2009

"Skillet Grouse"

I'm really fond of cooking up a nice, plump sharp-tailed grouse. Grouse is a blood red meat of great flavor and surpassing tenderness: a true gourmet treat. The best place to rustle up a brace of them around here is in the federal wilderness area that abuts my place. But since it is a huge area, and no vehicles allowed, there's getting to be too much luck-of-the-draw walking involved.

But I have found a reasonably satisfying counterfeit, which I call "skillet grouse." Here's how you can make it yourself.

Cut one half of a boned, skinless chicken breast into 'medallions' approximately half an inch thick. (I buy my chicken in the large 'economy' trays and then wrap the individual breasts in cling-film and freeze them. Then I simply semi-thaw them, still wrapped, in the microwave for one minute. They are still firm and cut very nicely this way.)

Put the medallions in a bowl and drizzle them with lots of balsamic vinegar. I understand that the really first-rate balsamic can go for $400 an ounce or more. I get along very well with Star brand from WalMart— in the little bulbous bottle. It's cheap and very good. Let them soak in the vinegar for an hour or so. Less will work if you are in a hurry, but more is better.

Heat a cast iron skillet after spraying it lightly with Pam or equivalent, or spreading a thin layer of olive oil. Fork the medallions onto the skillet directly from the vinegar bowl and cook to taste, turning as required.

Serve it up hot! Goes great with a glass of red, too.

This is an easy, quick meal, that is both healthy and mighty tasty. Will it fool a grouse connoisseur? Probably not. But he's not going to leave any of it on his plate either.


Lorimor said...

I love to hunt sharptails and prairie chickens in the Nebraska Sandhills but I just haven't found a way to cook 'em up that I can stand.

Rio Arriba said...

Slice 'em like my medallions and do 'em in an iron skillet. Works for me!

Miz Minka said...

Rio, that looks delicious (nice collage, too) -- I'm marinating some "domesticated grouse" right now, thanks for the inspiration! Unfortuntely, I don't have any green tomatoes on hand... Spotted those right away in your picture, made my mouth water. :)

Rio Arriba said...

Green tomatoes optional!

Hope you like it. Lemme know how it comes out.

Miz Minka said...

They came out perfectly!!! My husband who usually puts salt and pepper on everything gobbled them up "as is." What a wonderful, rich flavor. Thanks for sharing the recipe, it's a keeper!