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Bacon wrapped smoked Chuckers / Chukars - QVIEW

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

For anyone unfamiliar, Chukars are upland game birds in the pheasant family, and about half the size of a pheasant, or about the size of a Cornish hen.

 

 

 

My father-in-law spent an afternoon at a local pheasant ranch that he's somehow tied in with collecting and cleaning birds during some bird dog trials. Since the point of the day is to run and test the dogs, there are a lot of birds - he was guessing around 100. Most of the guys don't care about the birds, so, rather than just let them go to waste, he and a buddy of his goes and breasts them out (thighs too). He called, asking if I'd like to try to smoke some.

 

"Uh... that's a STUPID question! Of course! I've never even HEARD of those before!"

 

We laughed, and I wound up with a gallon bucket of boneless, skinless breasts. He's got twice that left, plus a big bucket of thighs.

 

At any rate, I thought having a few as an appetizer course for Easter dinner would be a good idea. Here's how this deal went...

 

Brine 12 breasts for 6 hours in:

 

  • 1/2 gallon water
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

 

Rinsed, and refrigerated overnight. Rinsed again.

 

Wrapped in hickory smoked bacon.

 

 

The smoke went as follows:

 

0:00 into a pre-heated smoker at 130F. 

0:20 start applying applewood smoke

2:00 raise temp to 150F

2:15 raise temp to 170F

2:30 raise temp to 225F, apply a light coat of BBQ sauce

Pull at IT of 165F (just under 4 hours)

 

Here's the finished photo:

 

 

 

They stayed nice and moist. Looking forward to tasting these at dinner in an hour or two.

post #2 of 17
Looks tasty! Nice smoke!

Points!
post #3 of 17
Look very tasty! Points!
post #4 of 17
Looks great!drool.gif
post #5 of 17

Nice looking Chucks Ragnar! b

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

Really appreciate the comments and the points, guys!

 

These were really pretty good. Next batch, I'll just stick with hickory for the wood, but the brine was right on. The breasts stayed nice and moist, without any noticeable saltiness, and the allspice was a happy thing.

 

Dinner all around was pretty awesome.

post #7 of 17

Great looking birds!

 

Good idea wrapping in bacon!

 

Al

post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokinAl View Post
 

Great looking birds!

 

Good idea wrapping in bacon!

 

Al

Thanks, Al!

 

Wrapping them in bacon worked two ways - first, it added a nice flavor to the palate. Second, and probably more importantly, it replaced the skin that was removed by breasting the birds out, which helped keep them moist, along with brining. They would have been jerky otherwise.

 

Looking forward to more upland birds in the future. According to my father-in-law, next time should be pheasant. I *FREAKING LOVE* pheasant. We'll do something similar then, and hoping he has a huge bounty like he did this time around.

post #9 of 17

Very nice - and looks very tasty

 

A full smoker is a happy smoker 

 

DS
 

post #10 of 17
You're spoiled that he brought them already dressed out! Sounds like a nice father in law to have..
post #11 of 17

Man, those look great!  I wish I had more access to game meats.  Points for a great cook on your first try!

post #12 of 17

points1.pngGreat Job!

 

I Love My Feathered Friends.....we have to go to eastern Oregon to Find them:beercheer:

 

Keep On Smokin,

 

Tom


Edited by Oregon Smoker - 3/31/16 at 9:47am
post #13 of 17

I love game birds on the grill.  Last time I got some chukars, I BBQ them.  Did the brine routine but with plucked birds.  Basted them a couple of times and they turned out great.  I nice bottle of Rioja went well with them, too.

 

post #14 of 17

I love this site. Always something new.

 

These look great, Ragnar!

 

Points!

 

Disco

post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by driedstick View Post
 

Very nice - and looks very tasty

 

A full smoker is a happy smoker 

 

DS
 

 

Thanks, DS! Definitely worthwhile.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokeyMose View Post

You're spoiled that he brought them already dressed out! Sounds like a nice father in law to have..

 

True, but I gave them back smoked! It's a good deal all around. He's a good dude - just this past couple of years, we've gotten to be pretty decent friends. Though I'm in no way wishing for a fast summer, I am looking forward to the venison rolling in. He hunts, and when he's not hunting, he fishes. On the off chance he's not doing either, he's preparing. We'll be some sausage-making fools come fall/winter.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by worktogthr View Post
 

Man, those look great!  I wish I had more access to game meats.  Points for a great cook on your first try!

 

I am lucky. All the time, it's Venison, Elk, Turkey, Walleye, Trout... and we've finally come to where we have something significant in common (other than his daughter). Great tradition starting with most every Sunday getting together for something really tasty.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oregon Smoker View Post
 

points1.pngGreat Job!

 

I Love My Feathered Friends.....we have to go to eastern Oregon to Find them:beercheer:

 

Keep On Smokin,

 

Tom

 

Thanks a ton! Happy hunting, Tom!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Escopeton View Post
 

I love game birds on the grill.  Last time I got some chukars, I BBQ them.  Did the brine routine but with plucked birds.  Basted them a couple of times and they turned out great.  I nice bottle of Rioja went well with them, too.

 

 

Sounds great! The birds in that photo look exceptionally good!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Disco View Post
 

I love this site. Always something new.

 

These look great, Ragnar!

 

Points!

 

Disco

 

Yeah, man! This site is FULL of good info. I've been finding advice, success/failure stories, and plenty of recipes. Pretty cool stuff, pretty cool community.

 

Thanks for the points, Disco! Looking forward to your next adventure!

post #16 of 17

RG, They look delicious !!!!

post #17 of 17

Great looking breast, you did great job with those.  Thumbs Up  

Those barred feathers on the birds side would be a great present if you have a fly tying friend!  

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