Ruffed Grouse Club Sandwich
Affectionately known as “Grandma’s Grouse Club Sandwich”
By Shawn West
When it comes to wild game, very little beats ruffed grouse in my eyes. I will not dispute the disciples of venison tenderloin, or walleye cheeks, or a fine roast mallard. These are all equally excellent choices.
But for this sportsman, the ease of preparation coupled with mild, tender white meat pan-fried to golden perfection wins every time. The fact that ruffies are also an extremely fun game bird to hunt factors in as well.
My personal connection with this recipe also makes me even more biased.
You see, whenever my father or uncles would bring home a brace (or more) of ruffed grouse, my Grandma West would prep the grouse breasts with soda cracker breading and fry them in a cast-iron pan with butter, while the stories of the hunt were retold around the kitchen table.
On those occasions, with my mentors reliving the hunt and the aromas of fresh wild game sizzling away on the stovetop in a little farmhouse kitchen, all would be right with the world.
Grandma has sadly been gone now for almost a decade, but this is still the standard preparation for anyone in my family that eats ruffed grouse. Served simply with crispy strips of grouse wedged between toast and mayonnaise as part of a traditional club sandwich, this is my go-to choice for preparing and serving these savory little game birds.
2 ruffed grouse breasts, cut into strips
½ cup flour
1 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. pepper
1 tsp. cayenne powder
1 egg, beaten
8-10 salted-top soda crackers, finely crushed
1 Tbsp. butter
3 slices whole grain bread
Mix the flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne together. Toss the grouse strips in the flour, before dipping them in the beaten egg. Coat thoroughly with crushed crackers and set aside.
Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat until it foams. Add the grouse strips and cook over medium heat until golden brown (3-4 minutes per side).
Toast the bread and spread two slices with mayonnaise. Add lettuce, tomato, and grouse strips then assemble the sandwich triple-decker style.
About the chef: Since 2011, Shawn has been sharing his experiences and opinions as a hunter at www.GetOutandGoHunting.com, a site he founded and where he serves as the primary contributor. While not a professional chef, as a lifelong hunter with a love cooking wild game, it was a natural progression when Shawn joined www.HarvestingNature.com as a Field Staff Writer early in 2015. Since then he has become a regular contributor of wild game recipes to Harvesting Nature, as well as occasionally adding his unique perspective to stories from the field.
Shawn makes his home with his wife & two young sons in Barrie, Ontario, Canada and when not chasing deer, turkeys, or waterfowl he can be found in his kitchen, behind his BBQ grill, or on the soccer field.