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Thread: Cleaning grouse/ptarmigan

  1. #1

    Default Cleaning grouse/ptarmigan

    Hey, just wondering what everyone's technique is to clean/gut grouse/ptarmigan? I have been starting with a cut at the anus and peeling the skin back so that I can cut off the back legs and cut out the breast meat, but I am guessing there is a better way to do it as this seems wasteful.

    On a related topic how about any good recipes? The one I just tried tonight that was awesome: Fried the breast meat and hind legs in oil in a pan, seasoned with a packet of dried onion soup mix and a sprinkle of lemon pepper and seasoning salt. The taste was excellent, had a hint of gamey taste to it which I like, and went great with wild rice and broccoli. The meat from the breast was a little tough, so next time I might try broiling with similar seasoning, but the legs were perfect.

  2. #2
    Member arrowslinger's Avatar
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    Default cleaning birds

    place your feet on the wings right next to the breast (the inside of your big toe as close to the breast and on the joint as possible), grasp both legs, pull up slowly. Pitch this to the side. You will be left with a breast having the wings attatched. Cut (with dikes) or break off the wings and you are done. Clean, simple and cools them down quick. The warmer the bird the easier. (IMO)

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    Member arrowslinger's Avatar
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    Default p.s.

    I know you were worried about wasteful but the little tidbits on the wings and legs are kind of tough and dry if try to do it like a cornish game hen. When I first shot one 18 years ago I thought I basically had a game hen but it didn't quite turn out that way.

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Default Breasting

    Unless the bird is really big, I usually just breast them out and don't bother with the legs. I take the freshly killed bird (still warm) and lay them on their back. Simply pull the skin apart around the breast area and fillet it off the breast bone with a small knife. You end up with two boneless breasts that cool quickly. Just carry a zip loc bag and you are good to go.

    As far as cooking, my kids love it when I slice the breasts into narrow strips (about 3/4" x full length) then coat them with a mixture of flour/lemon pepper and pan fry them quickly in HOT oil. Makes a great appetizer and finger food, never seems to last very long!
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    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    Default

    Lay the bird on its back.
    Peel the skin back off the breast.
    Grab the lower half of the bird with one hand, place thumb under breast bone and peel up and back.
    Cut the wing bones at the top to free breast.
    Keep the breast and feed the coyotes and foxes with the rest.
    Now what ?

  6. #6
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by arrowslinger View Post
    place your feet on the wings right next to the breast (the inside of your big toe as close to the breast and on the joint as possible), grasp both legs, pull up slowly. Pitch this to the side. You will be left with a breast having the wings attatched. Cut (with dikes) or break off the wings and you are done. Clean, simple and cools them down quick. The warmer the bird the easier. (IMO)

    Second this method!!!!!!!
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  7. #7
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    Default Breasting

    I do it pretty much the same way AKMud had described.

    For cooking the meat my wife baked some in the oven using that shake-n-bake stuff they turned out real tender and she also tried pan frying some and they were still good but were a lil tougher then the baked ones. My wife was givin some more cooking tips for grouse ill see if I can get them out of her and ill let ya know.
    Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "HOLY **** WHAT A RIDE!!!"

  8. #8

    Default cleaning birds

    Same as arrowslinger. Breat just plops out. No feathers to mess with or clean off. Just filet the breasts off and you are done!

  9. #9
    Member Doug in Alaska's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AKmud View Post
    Unless the bird is really big, I usually just breast them out and don't bother with the legs. I take the freshly killed bird (still warm) and lay them on their back. Simply pull the skin apart around the breast area and fillet it off the breast bone with a small knife. You end up with two boneless breasts that cool quickly. Just carry a zip loc bag and you are good to go.

    As far as cooking, my kids love it when I slice the breasts into narrow strips (about 3/4" x full length) then coat them with a mixture of flour/lemon pepper and pan fry them quickly in HOT oil. Makes a great appetizer and finger food, never seems to last very long!
    Try cooking them just as you have suggested only fry them in butter and add about 1/2 good, sweet (Walla Walla) onion. Oh man, this is making my mouth water!

  10. #10
    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Default Cleaning

    Just put your finer at the bottom of beast and pul up tearing the breast out the cut the wings off your done ......30 sec.
    Alaska

  11. #11

    Default

    arrowslinger: I have heard of this before for grouse and is sounds great, to clarify: The bird is head down with your foot on both wings at the shoulder joint and you pull up slowly on the legs?

    p.s. another recipe that is good for camp, bread breasts and legs with crushed saltine crackers, fry in oil with a pack of french onion soup for seasoning, quick easy and tasty.

  12. #12
    Member PatrickH's Avatar
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    Default Missing out

    I think you are missing out if you only take the breast. I usually take the legs, heart and gizzard. It all adds up and is good meat.

  13. #13
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    Default

    Clean the same as Arrowslinger, & cook the same as AKmud & Doug in AK.
    Vance in AK.

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  14. #14

    Default field breasting

    asrjb25,

    I've used the technique extensively on grouse (ruffies and sprucies); never tried on ptarmigan, as I haven't shot one yet!

    Bird on its back, boots on the wings up at the shoulder joint, slowly and firmly pull on the thighs upwards and the area of interest will tear away easily (when warm, as mentioned above.)

    Regards,
    DI

  15. #15
    New member AKDSLDOG's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by arrowslinger View Post
    place your feet on the wings right next to the breast (the inside of your big toe as close to the breast and on the joint as possible), grasp both legs, pull up slowly. Pitch this to the side. You will be left with a breast having the wings attatched. Cut (with dikes) or break off the wings and you are done. Clean, simple and cools them down quick. The warmer the bird the easier. (IMO)

    This is the "only way" to clean grouse. Just remember when doing this have the bird on it's back, works slick!

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