• Ken Perrotte

Chukar a Key Ingredient in This Asian-Inspired Soup and a Delicious Dish We Call 'Legrolls'

Updated: 4 days ago


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.

Mark Oliva and his boy Bourbon work a field for birds

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


Ingredients

¾ -1 pounds boneless skinless chukar breasts

skinned, dressed chukar

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

Optional garnishes:

Green onion

Cilantro

Thai basil

Lime zest


Preparation

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.


“Legrolls”


Ingredients

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


Preparation

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.