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BrentD, Prof, Cameron, Geo. Newbern, GLS, ithaca1, Karl Graebner, Parabola, Run With The Fox, Stanton Hillis
Total Likes: 13
Original Post (Thread Starter)
by Lloyd3
A unique opportunity presented itself here last night. We've served both species at past events, but never together and never as a deliberate comparison before. We even had a true southern gentleman and his wife here (both grew up near to Memphis) to be somewhat-unbiased observers. I grilled some quail that had been shot & skinned and frozen last November (not ideal, clearly), but we brined them carefully and kept them in a simple marinade of olive oil, parsley flakes, paprika, and salt & pepper. I'd aged these birds before cleaning and freezing them, however, and grilled them whole, very carefully, to not overcook or dry them out. By all accounts from the gathered sports folks who consumed them, they were very good indeed. I then plated some ruffed grouse for them to try. These birds were also aged, skinned, and then brined. I did, however, pound some bacon strips very thin and then wrapped the cleaned individual breast and other tender parts. Pared with a good sauvignon blanc (and perhaps some good bourbon Old-Fashioneds) we performed the side-by-side taste tests. Even my Southern Folks (who'd never had ruffed grouse before) had to admit that ruffed grouse was pretty spectacular. We then went on to compare grilled mule deer with elk (which I made something-of a hash of because I'd overcooked the deer tenderloins, not severely....but still more than I would normally do). Served with a mild parm/romano cheese & onion polenta, a poached-pear salad, and gorgonzola blue-cheese sauce (with a cranberry-horseradish condiment) I didn't get a chance to solicit input (on my 3rd Old Fashioned by that point and somehow forgot) but....there were no leftovers. Shovelling snow here this AM in 16-degree below zero weather and feeling the effects of the prior evening's event. Ho, Ho, Ho!
Liked Replies
by ClapperZapper
I shoot a good number of both.

The only thing I’ve noticed that affects the flavor of either one, is how quickly you get the guts out of it.

And that’s purely because when you shoot them with a shotgun their guts get perforated, and it can taint the flavor pretty quickly.

If you gave me two platters of spatchcocked birds, dusted with seasoned flour and then fried in a cast-iron skillet, I would eat the bobwhite quail first.
3 members like this
by J.B.Patton
1 member likes this
by liverwort
What kind of meat do people usually add to bacon when cooking it?
1 member likes this
by nca225
That meal sounds very tasty Lloyd. This year I'm serving Candied Grouse w/blueberry moonshine, a slight variation of a popular recipe around here. Enjoy the Christmas feast everyone!
1 member likes this
by Karl Graebner
Karl Graebner
It's Grouse in my house!
1 member likes this
by Ken Nelson
Ken Nelson
My late shooting buddy was from a dyed in the wool quail hunting family and consequently his Mom was a top notch wild game cook. She insisted that quail were to be plucked and not skinned. I have fond memories of sitting at huge table accompanied by the family and eating her fried quail, biscuits, gravy, and homemade preserves.
1 member likes this
by John Roberts
John Roberts
For those of you who aren't privy to The Scott Rea Project, enjoy:

1 member likes this
by ClapperZapper
Cameron, I don’t think very many people here know the great spanse of game bird fleshes.
Essentially (excluding sprucies), the more they fly, the darker the meat.
Most people condemn dark fleshed game birds.

Ruffies and quail are as white as it gets.

I just think quail are more tender at the ends of their bones.

You can cook quail until it’s falling apart tender, less able with ruffies. They’ll dry out before the collagen breaks down.
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