|Seared Sharptail breast, steamed broccoli, and corn spoonbread.|
I love hunting prairie birds in the early fall. Chasing sharptails and prairie chickens for me and my buddies has become more than a way to pass the time until the pheasant and quail season start up -- it's a focal point of our fall campaign.
Fortunately, we usually have a freezer full of these dark meat birds at the end of the season. I savor this exotic-tasting bird done just about any way, but like many folks, Mrs. Scampwalker isn't too hot on dark meat from wild birds. But I've got a foolproof recipe that'll satisfy the most finicky of palates.
When I clean and package the birds, I fillet the breast into two medallions. I freeze the thighs, legs, and bones for a later date when I can combine them with other prairie bird hindquarters and simmer them into a rich stock for a gumbo.
With the breasts, I soak them in a simple marinade of 1 part soy sauce, two parts olive oil, a dash of Worcestershire sauce, a couple of crushed garlic cloves, a tablespoon of coarsely crushed dried rosemary, and black pepper to taste.
I turn up my Weber full blast until it's good and hot, and I sear the breasts -- a minute or less on each side -- until cooked medium rare. After turning the meat, I baste the birds with a bit of Chatellier's Rare Game Sauce.
Chatellier's is hard to describe -- a unique mix of savory, sweet, and tangy. But it does what all good sauces should do -- it enhances the taste of the meat instead of hiding it. And it's equally good paired with venison, goose, woodcock, or red domestic meats as well. It deserves a spot in every hunter's fridge.
Note: I received my jar of Chatellier's for free from the company. But it's still darn good and I plan restock more once my freebie is gone -- which is soon.