I recently was on a hunting trip with clients and friends at Highland Hills Lodge in Condon, Oregon. I was pleasantly surprised on how much I liked this ranch. First off, the lodge itself is like a 5 star hotel, along with 5 star service. The hunting was awesome with good dogs, guides and terrain.
I was also impressed with the chef, he went out of his way to assure that each of us gained 10 pounds before we left. Mission accomplished Chef! At any rate, he made a chucker picatta rendition of the old Italian classic using his style. This got me thinking, and I immediately turned to my friend Travis who must have been thinking the same thing because he reads this blog and he says “You got this dish Hunting Chef….knock it out of the park.”
Now don’t get me wrong, the chef prepared a fine dish but I wanted to go to the next level. Which I am sure he would do if we were throwing down with this dish. So it got me thinking, reading, and taking notes what I like in a pasta dish. I was eating artichokes with my daughters and it hit me. I love artichokes, and hearts would be perfect in this dish. So here is my rendition of the classic dish Chicken Picatta, but with chucker.
The first thing I do when preparing chucker from the field is check, then double check that there is no bb shot in the meat. Nothing worse than someone biting down on a bb to ruin their appetite. Highland hills did a phenomenal job of meat preparation when they butchered the game birds and sent them home with us. I didn’t find one bb shot in the meat. Trust me I looked. What I like to do is inspect the meat with a high powered flashlight.
Once I have conducted my investigation. I pat them dry. Then take your flour, add 3 teaspoons of salt and pepper and put into a zip lock back. I find that to be the easiest but you can use a bowl if you want. I prefer not to get yelled at by the Commander in Chief of the hacienda, so I choose ziplock bags because I don’t get the flour all over the kitchen. Toss your breast into the flour.
See how clean it is? Flour in zip lock makes a happy, which means happy life. Remove the breast and put on plate and toss in the fridge to allow the flour to set for 30 minutes. This will keep the flour from flaking off the meat when you fry it.
This is going to be a fast process, it all happens pretty quickly. I serve my picatta over fresh pasta so I am going to give you my tips to that as well.
Butter Parmesean Pasta Ingredients:
Get the water for pasta boiling in a pot, meanwhile bring a nice size frying pan to medium high heat. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Then add your chucker to the pan and brown both sides, 3 minutes each side roughly.
Do not over cook, just brown then remove to a paper towel lined plate. Add another teaspoon of butter and garlic for one minute, then add artichokes (drained). Stir in one cup of wine, bring to simmer and cook until wine is reduced to half, about 4 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, fresh lemon juice, and capers. Cook, stiring until sauce thickens a little bit then add one tablespoon of butter.
Throw the pasta in the water. Fresh pasta usually takes about 4 minutes. As that cooks, add the parsley to the artichoke dish, reduce heat. Then put the chucker gently back into the pan. Taste the sauce, if it needs salt sprinkle a little on it to taste.
Take the pasta out of the water. Remember to keep 1/2 cup of water. Take pasta and put it back in the pot, add butter, while mixing. Then add water, while mixing well add parmesean.
Plate the pasta, add the chucker and artichokes, and capers to the top with some sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan, and grate some of that fresh lemon rind for some zest and serve. The chucker is mild and tender, filled with lemon pizzazz and then the touch of capers and artichoke finishes the dish off perfectly.
I hope you enjoy this dish with your family. One of my favorite things in the world to do is sit with my family and enjoy a Sunday dinner. I would not trade that for the world.
The Hunting Chef