how to cook chukar birds

Ideally, each person will receive one chukar or a related bird, two quail or woodcock, or perhaps even just one pheasant for two. But a chukar is a great single serving game bird.

Let me stress that while I designed this as a chukar recipe, a chukar is just another partridge, which is just another small cousin of the chicken. So your experience with chicken will come in handy.

This is a delicious, easy chukar recipe that calls for brining the chukar overnight to keep it juicy. Partridge, quail, small grouse, and Cornish game hens can all be prepared using the same recipe.

Back to this chukar recipe. You don’t need to brine, and since I’ve roasted so many small game birds, I no longer do. Crispy skin is the trade-off; a brined bird is more difficult to achieve that ideal crisp texture, but an unbrined bird is more likely to dry out.

You can choose the sauce you want to use with this chukar recipe. This apple-based sauce with cider vinegar and apple brandy is really good. But a traditional Cumberland sauce would be nice here, too.

Brine is the next step to upping your game if plucking these birds is the first. I usually brine all light-meat poultry, just like I would with most store-bought poultry products. Every time, exposing the meat to a solution of salt and sugar will tip the scales in favor of tender, juicy, succulent meat.

To truly maximize the benefit of your labor, take the time to pluck and brine your birds. Chukar are gifted in their ability to tack on mass. In a setting where a skilled woodsman might easily go hungry, chukar meat can become extremely fat. Since their fat is flavorful and rich, we should pluck them whenever possible to avoid wasting it.


What does chukar meat taste like?

For a bird that lives in such harsh terrain, chukar taste good. The ample breast meat is mild and white, looking and tasting much like a Cornish game hen. The legs are dark but have a decent amount of fat in them. They’re good in a slow cooker stew, smoked, or prepared like hot wings.

How do you eat chukar?

Try using chukars in recipes like my pheasant and dumplings, or pound the breasts out into cutlets for wiener schnitzel, or make chukar stock, and then use the meat shredded off the carcasses to make a batch of chukar taquitos.

What is the meat of a chukar bird?

Chukar are gifted in their ability to tack on mass. In an environment where a talented woodsman might quickly starve, Chukar meat can get downright plump. Their fat is rich and flavorful and should not be left to waste, which dictates that we pluck them every chance we get.

How do you cook game birds?

Break down the pheasant or other gamebird into pieces (two breast pieces, two thighs and two lower legs) for grilling, marinate in your favorite sauce or mix (try Walton’s Butter Garlic Marinade), let the meat sit for a couple of hours, season with a spice blend or sauce, and grill to perfection.