Wild Chukar Tagliatelle with Chanterelle Mushrooms and Butternut Squash





The Chef and the Guide, AKA, Chef Kevin Davis, and Canyon River Ranch Owner and Guide, Steve Joyce, headed out to hunt some Chukar earlier this year with Steve’s son, Henry.  Kevin, an ace shot from his childhood in Louisiana, had some success and came back to the Ranch Grill to prepare them!

He quickly turned them into a delicious pasta.  If you don’t have Kevin’s good fortune or it’s not season for hunting, you can use duck breast, chicken or pheasant. See him cook the dish here!

Scroll down for full recipe and ingredient list, but here’s a step by step of the method.

Start with your Chukar breast, trimmed of excess fat.

With a sharp knife, slice horizontally through breast to butterfly and flatten out.

Hold up to light to check for BB’s

Dust in seasoned flour.

Heat oil in a non stick pan over high heat until near sm0ke and cook chukar for a minute on each side until golden brown.

Remove chukar from pan, and set aside.  Add vegetables (mushrooms, squash, garlic and sage in that order), and cook 1- 2 minutes, until tender, adding more oil if pan is too dry. Deglaze pan with white wine then demi-glace.

Slice Chukar.

Add cooked fresh pasta to pan, toss through, then add sliced chukar.

Place in bowls.

Scatter with shredded parmesan cheese






Chukar a la Bourguignon with Wild Mushrooms and Butternut Squash

Serves 2

  • 2 chukar breasts (or you can use duck, pheasant or chicken), bones and skin removed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Flour, for dusting
  • Blended olive oil, for cooking and drizzling
  • 1 cup wild mushrooms
  • ½ cup diced butternut squash, sautéed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2-3 leaves fresh sage, finely sliced
  • Splash white wine
  • 4 ounces Demi-glace, or chicken bone broth
  • Fresh pasta (or dry fettuccini), cooked
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • Fresh grated parmesan cheese
  1. With a sharp knife, slice horizontally through the thickest part of the Chukar breast, butterfly out and lay flat. Dust with salt and fresh ground pepper on all sides.  Dip into a lightly seasoned flour to coat.
  2. Heat enough oil to coat the bottom of a sauté pan over high heat to just near smoke point. Add Chukar and cook until golden brown, about a minute on each side.  Transfer to a plate.
  3. Add mushrooms to hot pan with the pan juices, adding a bit more oil if too dry.  Cook on high heat, tossing, until just starting to soften. Add cooked squash, toss a few times, then add garlic and sage. Toss over heat to warm through for a minute, then, holding vegetables back, tip liquid from pan.
  4. Deglaze hot pan with a splash of white wine, return to heat. Add more pepper to taste, then ladle in the demi-glace.  Turn down heat and add fresh pasta to boiling water (if using dried pasta, have it cooked already).
  5. Julienne the chukar breast, add to the vegetables and cook over low heat for 1-2 minutes or until cooked through.  Just before serving add butter and orange zest, stir through, then add pasta with a tablespoon or two of the pasta water. Sprinkle on a tablespoon or two of the parmesan and toss together.
  6. Serve straight away topped with more freshly shredded parmesan.


  • If wild mushrooms aren’t available, shitakes work well.
  • Any root vegetable can be used if you don’t have butternut squash.
  • This recipe loves greens: escarole, broccoli rabe.