Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sauteed Grouse on Wild Rice with Brandy Cream Sauce

SP has always made me gourmet meals out of the birds he kills. More often than not these birds die upon impact with his truck. Tonight we ate roadkill and it was scrumptious. I remember, when miserably sick when first pregnant with our daughter, SP made pheasant with sour cherry and blueberry sauce. Last night one male grouse made the perfect dinner for two - no marketing necessary!

1 Grouse breast
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup Cream Sherry
1/4 cup minced shallots
1/4 cup brandy
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup wild rice
handful sliced mushrooms (optional)

  • Bone breast and separate tenders.

  • One at a time place pieces between two sheets of waxed paper and gently pound into 1/4 inch thick paillard (I don't have a fancy paillard which I think is a French word for 'meat hammer', so I use an empty beer bottle- funny, I always seem to have plenty of those)

  • Make rice. Wild rice is fickle and tough to pin down regarding proportions and time. I add 1 cup uncooked rice to 3 cups water. Bring water to a boil, stir once and cover.
  • Simmer over low heat until all the water is absorbed by which time the rice kernels should crack open revealing their tender white innards. It will take between 30 minutes and one hour. If all the water is absorbed before the kernels break open, add more water 1/4 cup at a time until the rice is fluffy, cracked open and tender.
  • While rice cooks, melt butter in a 12" skillet over med heat.
  • Saute paillard in butter- about a minute per side.

  • Add Cream Sherry and saute until meat is glazed and sherry is mostly gone. Probably unnecessary but I happened to have Cream Sherry on hand (leftover from last weekend's soup) and I love the flavor.
  • Remove meat from pan and cover to keep warm.
  • Add minced shallots and saute for about a minute. My wife, your blog mistress, simply abhors mushrooms, but if you, like me, love them- add a handful of sliced mushrooms. I recommend shitakes, but use what ya got and we just happened to have some leftover int he fridge from last weekend's pizza making!
  • Remove pan from heat and add brandy. If brandy flames don't panic, just wait for it to burn out. Return pan to heat, bring to boil and cook until brandy is nearly gone- about 5 minutes.
  • Add stock, bring to boil and cook until reduced by half- about 5 minutes.
  • Add cream, return to boil and cook until reduced by half.
  • Finis
  • To serve: Place a bed of rice on plate, top with one breast piece and one tender and smother with sauce. What I did was make a plate for the mushroom hater ... ... then add mushrooms to the remaining sauce in the pan, hit it with a splash each of brandy and cream, cook until the mushrooms were tender then plate up mine (see photo at top).

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