Grouse Scaloppini with Watercress and Venison Bacon Vinaigrette
Double breasts of grouse, pounded thin and grilled, served with a fresh salad of watercress and bacon vinaigrette.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Grouse, Scallopinni, Venison bacon
2ruffed grouse or another comparable bird
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
Cooking oilas needed
2fresh radishesshaved thin on a mandoline
Small handful of celery leavesoptional
3ouncesfresh watercresswashed and spun dry
Venison Bacon Vinaigrette
3ozfatty venison baconslab bacon, or regular bacon, thinly sliced
2tablespoonspoultry fatduck or cooking oil
3tablespoonsred wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1ozcoarsely chopped ramp leavesoptional
Using a boning knife, and some skill, remove both of the grouse breasts from the birds in one piece, being especially careful at the sternum where the connective tissue is the most thin.
Pound the double breasts to ¼ inch thickness with a meat mallet, being careful not to tear them. Season the breasts lightly on both sides with salt and pepper and reserve.
Build a wood fire.
Meanwhile, sweat the bacon in the oil until crisp, adding a pinch of salt and pepper, then add the vinegar and stock to the very hot pan, then add the ramp leaves and capers if using and turn off the heat. Reserve the vinaigrette and keep warm.
On two oversized dinner plates, arrange the watercress, celery leaves, radishes and mint leaves.
Grease the grill and the grouse breast scallopini, then cook quickly, aiming to cook them 90% on one side for color, flipping quickly at the end to just “kiss” the other side. Do not overcook them or they will be dry.
Arrange the piping hot grouse breasts on top of the salad, spoon the vinaigrette all over and serve. Alternately, you can also toss the greens with the dressing if you like, which will make it more evenly-seasoned.