Grouse Curry and Potato Soup

Grouse season is coming soon to a forest near you! My season starts on August 30th. While this seems like a while away it is only a meager 11 weeks!

If you have a grouse in the freezer at this point give this recipe a try! If no grouse are available try a chicken or do what I did and sub in wild turkey.

This recipe was also previously published in the Idaho Statesman in the Health Living Magazine – using chicken.

Grouse Curry and Potato Soup

Some quick notes – first things first, toss the old curry powder that’s been sitting on your shelf for years. Making curry powder is super simple and only involves a few spices such as turmeric and garam masala, and you can buy those in the bulk section in most grocery stores.

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 each chicken legs, thigh and drumsticks (or half chicken if you want more white meat)

4 cups chicken broth

2 pounds russet potatoes (about 2 large spuds), washed and cut into 1-inch cubes

1 onion, roughly chopped

6 garlic cloves, crushed and minced

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

1 14-ounce can light coconut milk

2 teaspoons Asian chili paste (Sriracha works well)

1 1/2 tablespoons garam masala

1 tablespoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

2 cups frozen peas

1/4 cup fresh cilantro sprigs

Salt and pepper to taste

Lemon zest to taste

Wash and dry the plucked grouse; cut the grouse into quarters. Leave the bone on, these will help with flavor. In a large stockpot, add the canola oil and turn heat to medium-high. When oil is not quite smoking, add the grouse to the pot. If the grouse does not sizzle when it hits the pan, then wait a while longer. Cook the grouse until it’s golden brown on the skin side, then flip and continue cooking.

Next, add chicken broth to the pan. Scrape the bottom of the pan for any brown bits. Trust me, you’ll want those for flavor. Next add the potatoes, onion, garlic, ginger, coconut milk and chili paste. Lower the heat to medium.

While the soup base is cooking, add the spices (garam masala, turmeric, cumin and coriander) to a small, nonstick saute pan. Turn the heat to medium and gently toss the spices in the pan until they are fragrant, which takes about a minute. (This step frees up some of the oils in the spices, making them taste better.)

When the soup base is boiling, add the toasted spices and turn down to a simmer. Cook for about an hour or until the potatoes become fall-apart tender. Now add the frozen peas and return heat to high. Once the peas are added, bring the soup back to a boil and ladle it into serving bowls. Garnish with cilantro and lemon zest.

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