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Game Cooking with Richard O’Connell

This is a great bar snack and always very popular at The Jugged Hare. It’s ideal because it uses the legs of the grouse, which can often be a bit tough when roasted on the whole bird, so this is a good way to make them tender. The crown of the grouse can be roasted separately, of course. It may sound like a huge amount of duck fat, but this is to slow-cook, or confit, the grouse legs. Keep the fat after you’ve used it to confit other game or use it to make the best roast potatoes ever.


• 20 grouse legs
• 2 litres (31⁄2 pints) duck fat
• 100g (31⁄2oz) potato starch
• 100g (31⁄2oz) cornfl our
• 1tsp cayenne pepper
• 1tsp paprika
• Salt and pepper
• Milk
• Vegetable oil for frying


• 600ml (1 pint) milk
• 1 onion
• 2 cloves
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 2tsp chilli flakes
• 500g (17oz) freshbreadcrumbs
• Double cream


1. Trim the grouse legs of any excess fat or gristle, place in a shallow, heavy pan and cover with the duck fat. Heat the pan very slowly and keep the heat below 65°C. Allow to cook at this temperature for 90 minutes until the legs are soft to touch and almost fall apart.

2. Drain the fat, and allow to cool until firm. This needs to be kept in a cool place or the fridge. Allow the grouse legs to cool.

3. Make the bread sauce. Place the milk, peeled onion, cloves, cinnamon and chilli flakes in a pan and heat gently. Allow the flavours to infuse for 20 minutes.

4. Strain the infused milk and return it to the pan. Add the breadcrumbs a handful at a time, and cook out slightly until the desired consistency is achieved. Season to taste and finish with a splash of double cream to give a silky texture.

5. Mix the potato starch, cornflour, cayenne, paprika and seasoning in a bowl. Take the confit grouse legs and dip into a little milk. Next, dip the legs into the spiced flour mix and then deep fry until golden brown.

6. Place the fried grouse legs on some kitchen towel to remove any excess oil and serve immediately with the slightly warm bread sauce.