Spicy Crispy Grouse Nuggets

  • Spicy Crispy Grouse Nuggets

Spicy Crispy Grouse Nuggets

This recipe for Spicy Crispy Grouse Nuggets was inevitable. We hunted SO MUCH grouse this past season. We literally have at least 25 birds in the freezer. Mind you, they are very small and 2 birds per person is a decent portion.

I am, of course, referring as to what is the Ruffed Grouse. In Nothern Ontario, they’re called partridge, but of course, we are talking about the Ruffed Grouse. If you are a beginner hunter or are looking to bring someone at beginner level hunting with you, Ruffed Grouse hunting is the place to start.

Now, I’m not trying to be rude, but these are not the brightest birds. I mean they are SO DUMB, if miss your shot (let’s say you’re using a single-shot) you more than likely able to reload again and again until you hit your target. It’s a great bird to take your time and practice your aim. Not to mention they’re delicious. I’m not even joking when I say they taste like chicken (with a slight game flavour).

I pulled a bag with six breasts out to defrost for this recipe. If you are cleaning anything you have hunted, please make sure to check for shots in the meat. It’s no fun when you chomp down on a bird shot and lose your appetite.

This recipe basically worked around the fact that I cleaned and cut the meat around any shot that may still be in the bird. I de-boned the breast and then sliced it into nuggets, to avoid shoving my fingers in the meat to dig out the shot, and replacing the breast with finger holes instead of bullet holes.

My boyfriend and I both love spicy, so I tried to make the grouse nuggets nice and spicy. To my disdain, they were not as burning hot spicy as we would have liked, but still had a nice, modest spicy kick to them. Feel free to add more to turn up the heat!

Do you enjoy eating Ruffed Grouse? How do you like to prepare it? Share your comments below! 🙂


Makes about 4 servings


  • 6 Ruffed Grouse Breasts (on the bone, both sides)
  • 3/4 Cup Flour
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 TBSP Cream or Whole Milk
  • 1 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs (you can use regular bread crumbs if you like, but it won’t be as crispy as the panko)
  • 1 TSP Cayenne Pepper
  • Pinch of Black Pepper
  • 1 TBSP Creole Spice
  • 1/2 TSP Sriracha
  • Oil for frying


  1. Clean, trim and slice grouse into “nugget-sized” chunks. (I keep the trimmings for my dog)
  2. Gather three large bowls. In one bowl, whisk panko crumbs with creole spice. In another bowl, whisk together egg, cream/milk, and sriracha. In the last bowl, whisk the flour, black pepper and cayenne pepper.
  3. Separate the chunks into two batches (to not overcrowd the pan). Heat a large frying pan over med-high heat, and put some oil in.
  4. Coat the grouse in flour mix, then the egg mix, and then coat generously in the panko mix.
  5. Toss them into the pan to fry for about 3 minutes. Don’t flip them, or you may lose the crispy coating.
  6. Flip, and fry for another 3 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Put them on a plate with paper towel to cool, and repeat steps 4,5 and 6 with the second batch.
  8. Serve with your favourite dipping sauce and enjoy!!


clean the grouse

Clean your grouse

slice down the breast bone

Slice down along the breast bone on the left, carefully separating the meat from the carcass, repeating on the right side

be sure to check for shots

Be sure to check carefully for shots in the meat

slice grouse into nugget-sized chunks

Slice grouse into “nugget-sized” chunks. I put mine in a strainer on top of a dish, just to drain any excess liquid. I also kept the carcasses in a freezer bag, to make stock at a later date. 

whisk flour, cayenne and black pepper

Get 3 large bowls. In one bowl, whisk together flour, black pepper, and cayenne

whisk together egg, cream and sriracha

In the next bowl, whisk together egg, cream/milk, and sriracha

whisk together panko and creole spice

In the last bowl, whisk together panko and creole spice

coat grouse in flour mix

Separate grouse into two batches, to ensure there won’t be any overcrowding of the pan.With the first batch, coat with the flour mix.

make sure it's nice and coated

Make sure it’s nice and coated

Then, put the grouse into the egg mixture,

Then, dunk it into the egg mixture

coat in pank mixture

Lastly, thoroughly coat it in the panko mixture

place in the oil (med-high heat) and leave for 3 minutes

Place in the oil over med-high heat, and fry on one side for 3 minutes.

flip over and fry for another 3 minutes

Flip over, and fry the other side for another 3 minutes, until golden delicious brown.

place on a dish with a paper towel

Place on a dish with a paper towel to cool, and enjoy with your favourite dipping sauce! Perhaps a beer? (We like Moosehead and MGD 🙂 )


There was enough trimmings for the dog’s dinner, too!


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