Easy + Delicious Spatchcock Grouse Recipe

In honor of Manitoba’s upland game bird season opening up last week, here is an awesome ruffed grouse recipe from Josh Mcfaddin. In this recipe, Josh creates an incredible Spatchcock Grouse dish. Utilizing his foraging knowledge, Josh also finds some natural berries that pair perfectly with the grouse. This is a super easy and tasty recipe you just have to try! full video and the written recipe can be found below.

There are incredible upland game bird opportunities found in every corner of the province, with seasons spanning over the next four months there are plenty of opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy the incredible table fare of these birds!

Well, folks, in this recipe you get to use the whole grouse and you won’t regret trying this great way to make a delicious snack out of any grouse. 

  • Once you figure out the trick to the spatchcock, it’ll be a breeze. 
  • Pluck and clean the bird
  • Grab a sharp knife or scissors and cut on either side of the spine, as close to the backbone as you can. This will remove a little strip and create an opening the whole length of the bird. 

spatchcock grouse

  • Spread it apart slightly and place cut-side-down on a sturdy surface with the breasts facing up. Firmly press down on the breasts with your palms until things start to crack and flatten out. You’re now a certified chiropractor and professional spatchcoker! 
  • I make a wild juniper berry salt in this recipe and let me tell you, it’s amazing, but if you don’t have access to juniper berries, salt and pepper work great!

ruffed grouse

What you need:
  • A few spatchcocked grouse
  • Juniper berry spice (or just salt + pepper)
  • Canola oil 
  • Fresh thyme, a couple of twigs
  • Fresh garlic, smashed
  • 1 apple, diced fine
  • ¼ onion diced fine
  • 1 tsp sugar 
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup of butter
  • 2 shots of whiskey

wild game meal

How to make it:
  • Rub a small amount of oil on the bird and season well with salt + pepper (and juniper)
  • Heat a pan or cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat, add a couple of Tablespoons of oil. Season the oil with fresh thyme and garlic for 1 minute then place the bird breast-side down on the pan.
  • Sear both sides until the breast meat is cooked through (155f) and remove from the heat. 

grouse recipe

  • In the same pan, add the fine diced onion, apple, and sugar then cook down until soft. 
  • Once softened, add the whiskey to the pan and scrape the bottom of the pan with your utensil. This will help to loosen up anything stuck to the bottom. Before the liquor evaporates, hit the pan with a lighter or a match to burn off the alcohol. (Watch your eyebrows and don’t stand directly over the pan).


  • Pour in the balsamic vinegar and mix everything well. Let it simmer for a minute to slightly reduce. At this point, you can add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the butter to make a silky sauce. 
  • Spoon the sauce over the grouse and enjoy the beauty of these fall flavors. 

grouse recipe

If you liked this easy ruffed grouse recipe, visit our HuntFishMB Recipes Playlist on YouTube for more!
For more information on Big game Hunting in Manitoba, visit our Big Game Hunting page.
Celebrate the experience of hunting in Manitoba, submit your harvest to the Manitoba Master Hunter Program.