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  • Writer's pictureJon Osborn

One-Pot Ruffed Grouse

Ruffed Grouse dish on a table

Wild game is leaner, wilder, and requires more attention in the field and in the kitchen, but the advantages are always worth the effort. Almost anyone enjoys the flavor of grouse. The mild, white meat is an easy crowd pleaser, even among civilized city dwellers who turn up their noses at wild game.


But grouse seldom come to bag easily, and procuring a few birds requires sweat equity, quick reflexes, and skillful shooting. And luck. Plenty of that, too.


This one-pot dish incorporates ruffed grouse, wild mushrooms, game stock, and wild rice in a creamy sour-cream sauce. After sampling this dish, it’s not uncommon to hear the words: “That’s the best grouse I’ve ever eaten.”

Upland hunter holding two ruffed grouse and smoking a pipe

Here's what you'll need:

• 3 - 4 whole ruffed grouse (breasts cut into one-inch cubes)


• Flour


• Panko


• Sea salt and course-ground pepper


• 2 – 3 eggs


• ½ tsp. rosemary


• 1 tsp. thyme


• Stick of salted butter


• Olive oil


• 4 shallots


• 4 -5 cloves garlic


• 1 sweet yellow onion, in thin, half-moon slices


• 1 C. diced celery


• 2 C. mushrooms (wild are preferred; use store-bought button variety in a pinch)


• 2 C. sour cream at room temperature


• 3 ½ C. game-bird stock (substitute chicken stock in a pinch)


• 3 C. cooked rice (equal mix of wild and long-grain preferred, but straight long-grain variety works in a pinch – sort of)

ruffed grouse and side by side shotgun on a grey background

Remove breast sections and tenderloins. Parcel out the grouse carcasses, breaking bones to expose marrow, and place in crock pot. Add carrots, celery, three cups of water and cook on low overnight. Strain stock through fine mesh and discard solids.


Cut grouse breasts into one-inch cubes, removing errant shot or feathers. Set aside in a bowl.


Prepare rice per directions, using game stock or conventional chicken stock as the base. Wild rice takes over an hour to cook, so allow plenty of time.


While rice is cooking, dice the mushrooms, celery, onions, and shallots, and sauté in olive oil until tender and translucent. Add rosemary, thyme, and garlic and sauté for several more minutes. Allow vegetables to cool and stir together with rice and room-temperature sour cream.


Lightly dust grouse cubes with seasoned flour.


Whisk eggs in bowl.


Dip grouse cubes in egg wash and roll in panko, making sure to coat all sides.


Pan fry grouse cubes in butter until golden brown. Do this in batches to avoid crowding the pan.


Add grouse chunks to the sour-cream/vegetable/rice mixture. Mix well and transfer to a greased, 9x13 pan. Cover and place in 350-degree oven for one hour.


upland hunter in grey vest holding side by side shotgun and ruffed grouse



If making the gamebird stock seems like a chore, consider this: comparing store-bought chicken stock to the wild version is like comparing off-brand ketchup to an Italian grandmother’s homemade spaghetti sauce. For real.


One more side-by-side and then I’ll stop. The earthy depth of wild mushrooms is key in this dish. I use black trumpets and hen-of-the-woods, but any wild variety will work. And yes, comparing wild mushrooms to the farm-grown, button variety is like comparing coffee-shop espresso to weak, service station swill.

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