Upland Game Bird Kabobs

Grilled Kabobs with Peanut Sauce – for your pale-meated upland birds

From Upland Game Bird Cookery.  On sale now – https://www.riflesandrecipes.com/product/upland-game-bird-cookery/

Serves 4, as a main course

Any pale-meated upland game bird will work fine in this recipe, from quail to pheasant, Hungarians, Ruffed, Blue and Franklin’s grouse and even turkey (both breasts and thighs). Kabobs are great as an appetizer, or for the main course with a potato salad on the side.  Allow at 4 ounces of birds’ breasts for each person. 


For the game birds

  • 12 wooden skewers, 10 inches long
  • boned breasts of 12 quail
  • For the peanut sauce
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice, about 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons oil


  1. Cover the wooden skewers with cold water and let soak 30 minutes.  Check breasts for shot, bone chips, and rough edges.   Slice the meat into 1 inch wide strips.   In a small blender, combine the peanut butter, lime juice, soy sauce, honey, curry powder, red pepper flakes, and lime zest.   Puree, and set aside.  
  2. Preheat the barbecue to medium high heat.   Thread the breast strips on the wooden skewers, then brush them with a light coating of oil so they don’t stick to the grill. 
  3. When the barbecue is ready, place the skewers on the cooking grate, directly over the fire.   Turn after 2-3 minutes, cooking about 6-10 minutes in all. (The thicker those strips are, of course, the longer they’ll take.)   Brush generously with the peanut sauce, and take them off the grill immediately.   Serve with other appetizers or your favorite potato salad.  (There are two on this blog, if you need a change of pace.)

*Recipe note: What the heck is zest? 

Zest is the very thin green surface over the lime.  It’s full of lime oil, and incredible lime flavor–much more flavor than just the juice.   The trick is to remove the green layer, without getting any of the bitter white rind underneath. 

You can buy a ‘zester‘.  It looks like a miniature garden rake with circles instead of tines at the business end that scrape just to the right depth.  Or use a light touch, very carefully, you can do the same thing with a potato peeler or a fine cheese grater.

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