From the Blue Grouse Hippies Jeff Hill and I first tasted this recipe while hunting blue grouse in 1996 at 8,000 feet.  There were two old guys walking down the mountain with a fat lab, nearly covering the tracks we had just made with our wide-ranging pointing dogs.  We had found only a few birds, after a hike lasting all morning.  Nearing our vehicle, the two guys approached and suddenly the lab went on point, one guy shot a double and the other a single, and the lab retrieved them all in order to the hand of the guy who shot each one. After a performance like that, we knew we needed to find out what these guys were up to.  They said they worked on snow machines in the winter, but claimed unemployment the rest of the year so they could fish and hunt.  We invited them to join our picnic and they invited us the next day to theirs, featuring blue grouse MacNuggets.  We affectionately dubbed them “the Blue Grouse Hippies” and here is a slightly kicked up version of their recipe, which featured Shanke-n-Bake and lard:

  • 4 blue grouse breasts (works with any white fowl meat)
  • milk
  • flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Italian bread crumbs (we like Progresso bread crumbs but the hippies liked Shake-N-Bake)
  • olive oil

Cut grouse meat into ¾” cubes.  Get out 4 small bowls.  In respective bowls: 1) pour some milk, 2) pour some flour and season with salt and pepper, 3) beat two eggs; and 4) pour some bread crumbs.   Dip pieces into milk, then flour, then egg wash, then bread crumbs.  Warm a non-stick skillet with ¼” deep of olive oil on medium-high heat.  Fry until golden brown, about 5 minutes, turning often. We like to serve with local honey, but you can dish up with Ranch, BBQ, plum sauce, honey mustard or whatever sauce suits your fancy.  We also like to accompany with wild rice and some sautéed vegetables. OPTIONAL MAPLE ADOBO SAUCE – which also goes great as a glaze for grilled wild game or a sweet and sour dipping sauce served on the side

For the glaze

Grouse MacNuggets

3/4 c. pure maple syrup 1 chipotle chile, chopped, plus 3 T. adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles en adobo) 2 T. ketchup 1-1/2 T. Dijon mustard 1 T. cider vinegar

Make the glazeStir together the maple syrup, chipotle chile and adobo sauce, ketchup, mustard, and vinegar in a medium bowl until combined. Brush the ribs with half the glaze and cook with the grill covered, brushing the meat every couple minutes, until the glaze browns and becomes sticky on the ribs, about 15 minutes. Remove the ribs from the grill, brush with the remaining glaze, and let cool for a couple minutes; cut in half (meaty side down so they’re easier to slice), and serve.