Chukar Al Roker

Remember this guy?
Remember this guy?

Last week while searching for a recipe, I found an old crinkled recipe clipped years ago from a magazine.  The original recipe, courtesy of Al Roker, uses chicken  coated with a  pecan-cornmeal crust and then oven-fried.  Recently, we’ve thought about the strangeness of chukar hunting. Al Roker and chukar in the same sentence, now that’s strange, unless he’s an upland bird hunter.  We made his recipe last night for the first time using chukar and it ended up delicious. It’s now one of our favorite chukar recipes.

Oven-Fried Chukar with Pecan-Cornmeal Crust

6 chukar breast cutlets
2  eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp.  butter, cut into small pieces

Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 425F. Using heavy duty aluminum foil, line a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with sides at least 1 inch high. Spray the foil with non-stick cooking oil. Rinse the chukar under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.

In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. In another shallow bowl, stir together the pecans, cornmeal, flour, salt, onion powder, cayenne and pepper.

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Pecan cornmeal and egg batter oven-fried chukar

Dip the chukar pieces into the egg mixture, and then dredge them in the pecan-cornmeal mixture. Place the chukar in the prepared baking dish.

Dot the chukar with the butter and bake about 10-15 minutes. Turn the breast over and bake another 10 minutes until golden brown.

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Oven-fried chukar hot out of the oven

Chukar breasts are small so be careful not to overcook. Adjust baking time as needed. Just as in fried chicken, oven-baked chukar can be served hot, at room temperature, or cold. We like to serve ours hot with brussels sprouts and creamy garlic mashed potatoes.

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Thank you, Angus

 

 

3 Replies to “Chukar Al Roker”

  1. Certainly an attention grabbing “one of these things is not like the other” title. My fingers nearly stumbled over each other when trying to click the link. I will have to give that recipe a try.
    You can find great wild game dish innovations in the strangest places if you keep an open mind, just last month I found an unbelievable recipe to use with grouse in a somewhat current issue of field and stream… if you can believe that.

    1. I wouldn’t think of F and S for recipes ideas, we’ll have to check that one out. It seems that so far, chukar can replace most dishes calling for chicken. They are wee birds so you have to be careful about over cooking. We tried to smoke some chukars (bone-in) and within minutes they were as you would say…drier than a bone! Precious delicacy to be wasted.

  2. Cold Smoking is the only way to go for most upland birds. I like to cold smoke for a couple hours and then finish off in the oven so I have a little more control over the out come.
    Kinda funny (funny sad) we don’t see more recipes in all our bird hunting media, it is all about getting food after all and there is more to life than cream of mushroom soup and bacon wrapped abominations. Maybe this is what Jose Ortega y Gasset warned about with becoming more concerned about things that have do with hunting rather than the hunt itself… Any way good on you for posting recipes!

Chirp away