How to Cook Gamebirds with Salsa Macha

Survival Basics

Salsa macha is a thick, dark, nutty, oily, garlicky, chile-laced concoction that adds serious depth of flavor and intrigue to everything it graces. For instance, Chicago-area chef Paul Kahan, who shared his recipe with us, slathers it onto roasted chicken, which he pairs with quick-pickled zucchini for a sweet-hot summertime dish. We’ve taken that idea afield, and into autumn, by introducing salsa macha to the more flavorful meat of chukars and pickling some bright-­orange, paper-thin slices of butternut squash. It’s a proper reward for all the ­scrambling and climbing that a chukar hunt entails. But this is an all-purpose dish for gamebirds: Quail, pheasant, and wild turkey will work equally well.

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