The “Glorious Twelfth” is unquestionably one of the most anticipated events of the food calendar. This game bird flies off the shelves, with its rich and tasty meat owing its flavour to the berries and the heather on which the birds feast on. Containing a third of the fat of chicken, but twice the protein – this grouse, chorizo and chickpea salad makes the perfect light main course or starter.
Serves 4, or 6 as a starter
1 jar cooked Spanish chickpeas
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 sprig rosemary
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 firm chorizo, thinly sliced
1 radicchio, shredded
2 50g cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Juice of one lemon
1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7. Strain the chickpeas and pat them dry. Place in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, paprika, cumin powder and a pinch of salt. Stir and place in a large roasting tray. Make sure the tray is not overcrowded, otherwise the chickpeas won’t crisp up. Roast for 30–40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.
2. Meanwhile, brush the grouse with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and season with salt and black pepper. Fill the cavity of each grouse with rosemary and garlic cloves. Put into the oven and roast for 20–30 minutes or until the meat is pink and the legs pull away easily. Remove and rest for 15 minutes; then cool for a further 15 minutes.
3. Put the remaining oil in a frying pan and fry the chorizo until crispy. Remove and place on a plate to cool slightly.
4. Once the grouse has cooled, remove the meat from the bones. Place this in a large bowl with the radicchio, tomatoes, rocket, chickpeas, chorizo, extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Gently stir until all the ingredients are lightly coated in the oil. Season, gently toss again and serve.
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