Butter Sharp-tailed Grouse

This Butter Sharp-tailed Grouse recipe will have you thinking differently about this much maligned bird!

One of my dad’s coworkers came back from Montana, after a grouse hunt, with what he determined to be, a steep task to accomplish. He gave me four Sharp-tailed grouse, quartered out and skinless, and asked me to make it taste good. Being a Texas girl, any kind of grouse is foreign to me, so I did a little googling into what people like to do with the bird.

From my googling (and my husband’s, who I also tasked to help me in this endeavor) we found a lot of people were not fans of this bird. There were whole hunting forums dedicated to figuring out how to make it taste good. Words like “gross”, “strong”, and “gamey” were used quite a bit when describing it.

As I’ve talked about in some of my wild hog recipes, I’m a big fan of using strong flavors to combat strong flavors. This normally brings the cuisine over to the Eastern Hemisphere and I decided I would try my hand at some Indian food. 

Butter Chicken is normally done with breasts, but can be done with chicken thighs too. There isn’t a whole lot of dark redder meat in Indian food, with beef being off limits, so I had to play around with this recipe some.

Overall, the final product was delicious! I gave some to my dad’s coworker and he loved it! If you have any sharpies in your freezer do yourself a favor and give this recipe a try and ENJOY!

Butter Sharp-tailed Grouse

Delicious take on butter chicken with a much maligned wild game bird.
Prep Time1 day 15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time1 day 45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Butter Chicken, Grouse, Indian, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Upland
Servings: 6 people
Author: Sophie May


  • 1.5 lbs Sharp-tailed Grouse Breasts ~8 breasts


  • 1 C plain full fat yogurt
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 T garlic minced
  • 2 T ginger minced
  • 4 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 tsp salt


  • 1 can tomato puree
  • 1 C heavy cream
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cilantro chopped

Serve With:


  • In a bowl or bag, combine grouse breasts with all of the marinade ingredients. Let marinate in the fridge overnight to a day. This time is crucial for this recipe.
  • Once done marinating, cut meat into bite size pieces.
  • Melt butter in a Dutch oven over high heat.
  • Remove grouse meat from the marinade. Do not wipe off excess marinade and KEEP the extra marinade for later. Do NOT throw it away.
  • Once melted and hot, add the meat. My pan was large enough to fit all the pieces, but you can do it in batches. Cook until the outsides of all the meat are done (~3-5 minutes). It does not have to be completely done all the way through because it will be simmering in the next steps.
  • Add all the sauce ingredients to the pan with the remaining marinade.
  • Turn heat down to low and let the mixture simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Serve with basmati rice with cilantro sprinkled on top. ENJOY!

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