Chukar a Key Ingredient in This Asian-Inspired Soup and a Delicious Dish We Call 'Legrolls'
Updated: May 9
Chukar are a mainstay bird in many hunting preserves. For one, they tend to hold steady once placed allowing hunters and dogs, especially novice hunting dogs, a better chance at getting a shot on the flush. Second, they give off a lot of scent, making them easy to “wind” for dogs learning how to properly quarter in a hunting field. Third, they’re big meaty and tasty – just smaller than pheasant and much larger than quail.
Our boy Jameson loves to find, flush and fetch chukar. We reciprocate by cooking them up into a variety of dishes. You can bet the wonder dog always gets a few nice chunks of bird meat for his efforts.
Here is a recipe for an Asian-inspired Chukar Soup and a unique dish we called “legrolls,” namely eggrolls made from the leg meat of various game birds with a little rabbit mixed in. We made the leg meat using a confit (con-fee) technique, making it exceptionally tender, but you could use a variety of methods (pressure cooker included) to get the leg meat moist, tender and ready for the Legrolls. The accompanying video outlines our confit method.
Asian Chukar Soup
¾ -1 pounds boneless skinless chukar breasts
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 carrots sliced thin
1 cup sliced green onions, plus more for garnish
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
8 cups low salt chicken broth
2 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon mirin or rice vinegar
2 stalks lemongrass
1 teaspoon lime juice
1-2 teaspoon sriracha, to taste
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced (cremini or white are fine)
1 cup snap peas, sliced into 3 or 4 pieces
1 cup Bok Choy, chopped
¼ cup red and yellow bell pepper, thinly julienned
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon fresh Thai basil, chopped, plus more for garnish
6 to 8 ounces rice or ramen noodles, optional
Heat the sesame oil in a small Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the carrots and green onions and cook for a couple minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook another minute. Add the chukar, broth, soy sauce, fish sauce, mirin, sriracha, lime juice, sugar and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until meat is cooked and tender (about 15 minutes). Add the bell pepper and snap peas and cook for a couple minutes. Add the rest of the vegetables and herbs and cook until softened. Add the noodles if using turn off the heat and let sit a minute or two until the noodles are softened. Serve hot with desired garnishes.
3 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
5 cups shredded green cabbage
3 carrots, grated
1 tablespoon soy sauce (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon sriracha if desired
Chopped cooked meat from upland game or waterfowl legs
Egg roll wrappers
Heat half the oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add the cabbage and carrots and cook for a few minutes until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the garlic and ginger and continue cooking until vegetables are soft. Add sriracha if using and meat. Stir and cook a minute. Remove from heat.
To assemble the legrolls, pour a little water into a small bowl. Lay a wrapper diagonally on a cutting board so it resembles a diamond. Dab a little water along the edges. Place 2 tablespoons filling in the center and spread out horizontally a little. Fold the side corners over, crimping a little to seal and then roll up pressing slightly to compact the filling and seal the roll. Repeat for all rolls. Put remailing oil in a bowl and using a pastry brush, brush the eggrolls all over. Place in an airfryer and cook at 400 for 5 minutes. Flip the rolls and cook another few minutes until lightly browned. Serve with soy sauce or desired sauces for dipping.