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Grilled Chukar with Fresh Chimichurri

Grilled Chukar with Fresh Chimichurri

Grilled whole chukar with chimichurri and zucchini on a white platter.

Hot bird summer is here

I count myself lucky when in June or July I can reach into the freezer and find an abundance of birds. All too often, grilling season for hunters means burgers, steaks, and loins. Now, thanks to a good dog, I’ve found a well of succulent white meat in the form of chukar and respite from burger burnout.

Cooking Great Chukar is All in the Brine

All this deliciousness happens thanks to the brine. It has become standard practice for me to brine all my white-fleshed birds, from chukar, pheasant, grouse, and wild turkey. Brining gives the birds’ meat a food-safe environment to both come out of rigor and tenderize. Additionally, brining transports salts deep into the meat. This makes the seasoning even throughout the bird and keeps optimal moisture retention during cooking, resulting in a tender bird. 

In all seriousness, this chukar recipe is the best new thing I’ve cooked in a long time. It’s not at all odd that I find myself hunched over the last drumstick heaping effusive praise on my dog, and spicy spoonfuls of green goodness on the bird. I really can’t get enough of it.

This recipe will change your life.

Grilled whole chukar with chimichurri and zucchini on a white platter.

Chukar Chimichurri

This recipe will change your life.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2 people
Calories 749 kcal

Equipment

  • Grill

Ingredients
  

  • 2 whole chukar, grouse, quail, or partridge plucked with skin on and brined
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 4-6 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic pressed or chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh chili peppers diced
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Since we are grilling, it is advantageous to spatchcock your birds so
    they cook evenly. To duo this, remove the backbone of a whole bird
    using kitchen shears. Place the bird breast-up on a cutting board
    and, using the heel of your hand, press firmly down breaking the
    ribs and breastbone such that the bird is flattened. Salt lightly and
    set aside. Side note: I like to reserve these in a ziplock bag and
    freeze them for making stock or Demi glasses later.
  • Combine chopped parsley, diced garlic & pepper, vinegar and oil in
    a bowl, along with about one teaspoon of salt and another
    teaspoon of coarsely-cracked black pepper. Give the mixture a stir
    and set aside.
  • Apply the chimichurri generously to both sides of your Chukar.
    This can be done up to 24 hours in advance of cooking, but make
    sure to reserve plenty for serving.
  • Now, it’s time to fire up the grill. Heat a wood, charcoal or
    propane grill up to around 500 degrees. Be sure to clean and oil the
    grate, and then gently nest your birds bony-side down & cover.
  • After 5 minutes have elapsed, check on your meat. On a properly
    hot grill, a good char should be forming on the underside with
    some color forming around the sides. At this point you can flip the
    birds over for another 3 or so minutes or until the skin of the breast
    and thighs becomes crispy. You’ll know that you’ve achieved a
    perfectly done bird when a leg can be removed at the joint
    somewhat easily.
  • Baste with extra fresh chimichurri and enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 6ozCalories: 749kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 2gFat: 81gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 59gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 22mgPotassium: 227mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 2529IUVitamin C: 43mgCalcium: 61mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Chukar, Upland Bird
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