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Butter Garlic Sage Sharp-Tailed Grouse Breast

Butter Garlic Sage Sharp-Tailed Grouse Breast

This recipe transforms the distinctively flavor of sharp-tailed grouse into a succulent dish, perfected with a balance of butter, garlic, and sage.

The sharp-tailed grouse is a favorite upland game bird of mine to chase when I take a week off from the hustle and bustle of everyday life to head out to the grasslands of southern Alberta, Canada each year.

It’s a favorite of mine for so many reasons. I love preparing and eating sharp-tailed grouse just as much as chasing this amazing game bird. It takes me to some beautiful country with deep coulees filled with chokecherry thickets to beautiful grasslands where you can see for miles.

Sharp-tailed grouse are a decent sized bird and really fun to hunt. Upon flushing, the sound they make almost sounds like they are laughing at you. And when you shoot and miss (yes, I have missed many) that sound seems to be even louder.

The sharp-tailed grouse sometimes gets a bad rap in terms of taste from some. It does have a unique flavor that can be described as “gamey”. Sharptail is an all dark meat bird. If you try to cook sharptail like you would say, a ruffed grouse, you’ll be disappointed. Treat sharptail like you would duck and goose and you’ll be fine. Medium rare and to medium at most.

Put it this way, I’ve prepared this for non-hunters and hunters that have said they didn’t like sharp-tailed grouse, including their wives and they were all pleasantly surprised. My wife who also, before meeting me had never tasted wild game, can’t seem get enough.

In this recipe, you will be using skinless breast. So if you are one that doesn’t like plucking or have torn the skin while plucking your sharp-tailed grouse this recipe doesn’t require skin on breast meat. Oh, and keep those sharptail legs. Save enough of them and you can make a ragu for a delicious pasta dish.

This is a fairly easy recipe with few ingredients and what’s special about it is it can be prepared in the field just as easily as in your home. However, don’t let the simplicity of this dish fool you. It may take you a few tries to get the doneness just right but once you do, you will be rewarded with a tender succulent piece of meat and it will leave you wanting more.

A sharp-tailed grouse ready to be cooked

Sharp-tailed Grouse Breast with Butter, Garlic, and Sage

Embrace the rich, gamey essence of sharp-tailed grouse, enhanced with the aromatic trio of butter, garlic, and sage in this delectable dish
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian


  • 4 boneless skinless sharp–tailed grouse breasts
  • 4 thin slices of prosciutto (cured Italian ham)
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • Wild rice flour or all-purpose flour for dredging
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter for basting
  • 2 tbsp duck fat, or grape seed oil
  • few sprigs of sage leaves picked off
  • 2 cloves garlic lightly crushed


  • Season each grouse breast lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Be careful not to over salt as the prosciutto is already salty.
  • Take a slice of prosciutto and place it onto the outer side of each breast (the opposite side of the tender) and press down to make it stick.
  • Heat the duck fat or grape seed oil in a sauté pan until it’s hot. Dust each breast in the wild rice flour or all-purpose flour and shake off the excess. Place each breast prosciutto side down in the sauté pan. Over medium-high heat cook until the prosciutto is caramelized, then add the butter to the pan. When the butter stops foaming, add the sage and garlic to the pan. Tilt pan slightly and begin to baste the breasts with the butter/fat mixture until medium-rare to medium. Depending on the size of breast, this should take 5-6 minutes total.
  • Remove the breasts from the pan when done and allow them to rest for a few minutes, with the prosciutto side up. With a sharp knife slice each breast. Pour the butter sage and garlic over each breast and serve. Be sure to eat the crispy sage as well!


Doneness will depend on the size of each breast. It might take a few tries at this recipe to dial it in, but eventually you will get it right. The more you make this the more you will get to know how long to cook different size breasts.
Keyword sharp-tailed grouse
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