Thaw Out This Summer

With summer arriving this month, now is a great time to clean the freezer and make room for this coming fall’s influx of fresh meat. Don’t be guilty of shoving last season’s birds to the back of the freezer and then forgetting about them.
There are many ways to prepare game birds, and specialized approaches can be tailored for each species. However, in an effort to keep things simple yet tasty, the following recipe was created with all game birds in mind. These bite-sized tidbits – or bigger finger foods – are a delicious way to introduce people to game birds. To double the batch, add 2 cups cooked brown rice to the meat mixture, doubling the amounts of oyster or soy sauce as well.

1 pound upland game bird meat, ground or finely chopped 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 cloves garlic, minced One 3-ounce can water chestnuts, diced 2 tablespoons oyster or soy sauce 1 teaspoon sugar 5 green onions, finely sliced 2 tablespoons sesame seeds Four to eight whole lettuce leaves

Heat oil in a large skillet and brown meat on medium heat. Add garlic, water chestnuts, sauces and sugar and sauté an additional two to three minutes. Remove from heat and mix in green onions and sesame seeds. Separate lettuce leaves (butter, Boston, iceberg or leaf lettuce all work well). Divide meat mixture evenly among lettuce leaves. Or serve a portion of bird mixture with leaves on the side, allowing people to make their own bite-sized wraps. Serve with soy sauce for dipping.

Editor’s note: For signed copies of Tiffany Haugen’s popular cookbook, Cooking Game Birds, send a check for $20 (freeS&H) to Haugen Enterprises, P.O. Box 275, Walterville, OR 97489 or order online at Follow Tiffany on Instagram (@tiffanyhaugen), Facebook ( and Twitter