where are grouse most prevalent? are grouse and partridge best served med rare? what are classic flavorings for game birds besides fruit?
Scotland for grouse. Yes to medium rare. Fruit. Especially prunes.
I can't speak for larger birds. But for small birds like quail. I like a Chinese method.
Soysauce, water, sugar, sake, ginger, star ansie, orange slices, lemon slices. A "Looing Sauce" Make enough to cover the birds in a boiling pot. Bring the mix to a boil and put strings around the birds under the wings. Drop them in bring back to a boil...TURN OFF THE HEAT...cover and wait 20 mins for small birds (1 hour for game hens).
At this time they'll fully cooked and infused with flavor. Remove and hang them up to dry about 2-3 hours (use a drip pan under them) until the skin is very dry to the touch and no moisture remains. (use a hair dryer if needed for shorter time. Drop them in hot oil briefly to finish; to crisp up the skin to very crispy.
Grouse are seeing a major decline in most of the eastern US. This will be true anywhere habitat loss is rapidly occurring - ie urbanization. Grouse need large tracts of forest adjacent to stream valleys where they can find dead woody debris to use in their "drumming" mating ritual.
We have been eating grouse in my family for decades and our favorite techinque to serve a crowd - because often you have small portions for late groups - is a quick marinade in olive oil, crushed garlic, red wine vinegar and rosemary the dredge finger sized portions in a quick egg bath, drop into panko or cracker crumbs then pan fry. Serve with good salt, fresh ground pepper and a squeeze of lemon.
Grouse is found all over the west, including WA, ID,MT.
I like grouse jeopardy and partridge family feud