If you are not comfortable with hunting/butchering/processing animals, please avoid this post. I understand there are many out there who disagree with this sort of thing, so consider yourself warned. My family relies on hunting as a form of providing food to support our goal of a self-sufficient lifestyle, and believe we each make our own choices in such matters. Thank-you for your understanding!
First off, let me say that I love animals. I do. I have a deep respect for them and appreciate SO much the ones I am blessed to have around me each and every day. I am in awe of the amazing beauty that are God’s creatures and am thankful that there are those out there that can provide sustenance for my family- good, natural, untreated and unblemished sustenance.
So this time of year is an exciting one for us. It means fresh meat and one of my (many) favorites is grouse. Simply fried in butter with some seasonings results in a delicious meat that far surpasses any chicken you’ve ever eaten. Seriously.
The good news is grouse are EASY to clean. I think that sometimes people shy away from hunting because the aftermath of dealing with cleaning them is a bit deterring. A good friend of mine recently asked if I would show her how to clean a grouse- and then wondered if perhaps there are others out there who would like to be shown the same thing? Since we both have small children and the opportunity to go hunting together and then be able to show her in person how to do this isn’t likely to happen, I figured I could do a step-by-step how-to with photos to help her (and you) out. (I’ve been told that pheasants can be cleaned in this way as well.)
So here goes…
Lay the bird on its back, wings spread. Place your feet on either side of the bird, pressure put on where each wing joins the body. Grasp each foot firmly in your hands.
With even pressure, pull the legs up and away from the body. The fresher the kill, the easier this is.
You will be left with the head, entrails, and wings. Use your finger to pull the head and entrails away from the breast, starting at the top. Discard.
The wings are most easily removed by using a sharp knife to cut them from where they join to the breast. Alternatively, you can twist and snap them off. Pull any remnant feathers from the breast. Wash thoroughly under running water and either freeze or consume within a couple of days.
Easy Fried Grouse:
Cut meat away from bones and cube into 1-inch pieces (or smaller). Heat 4 Tablespoons butter in a cast iron pan and add meat. Season as desired. Sear each side for just a couple of minutes until cooked through (don’t overcook- it will get dry!). Serve with fried potatoes or rice. Enjoy!