As winter sets in, there’s something incredibly comforting about the prospect of a hearty home-cooked meal after a long day spent in the great outdoors. The crisp air, the crunch of frost underfoot, and the joy of sharing the hunt with your faithful Epagneul Breton all contribute to a unique experience that is as much about companionship as it is about sport. And what better way to wrap up such a day than with a steaming bowl of chukar chili?

Chukar chili, a rustic and warming dish, is the perfect antidote to a chilly evening. This chili, made from the meat of the chukar partridge, an upland game bird popular among hunters, has a distinct flavor that sets it apart from your average beef or chicken chili. The chukar’s lean and flavorful meat lends itself wonderfully to the slow-cooked, spiced nature of chili, absorbing the mixture of spices while retaining its unique, slightly gamey flavor.

The origins of chukar chili stem from the tradition of making the most out of the day’s catch. Hunters would often cook up a pot of chili as a way to utilize every part of the bird, creating a meal that was not only satisfying but also incredibly economical. Over time, this humble stew has become a beloved classic among hunting communities, cherished for both its taste and the sense of camaraderie it brings when shared among friends after a successful hunt.

Preparing a chukar chili can be as simple or complex as you want it to be, but the basic recipe involves browning the chukar meat, adding a mix of vegetables and spices, and letting everything simmer together until it’s rich and flavorful. Some variations include unique ingredients like poblano and jalapeno peppers for a kick, or creamy white beans for added texture.

Here’s a basic recipe to get you started:


1-1/2 lb chukar meat, cut into chunks

1 large onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 poblano peppers, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, chopped

1 can of Northern white beans, drained and rinsed

1 can of diced tomatoes

Chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper to taste


In a large pot, brown the chukar meat on all sides. Remove from the pot and set aside.

In the same pot, sauté the onion, garlic, and peppers until soft.

Return the chukar meat to the pot, add the beans, tomatoes, and spices, and stir well.

Let the chili simmer for at least an hour, or until the chukar meat is tender and the flavors are well combined.

Whether you’re new to hunting or a seasoned veteran, there’s no denying the appeal of a warm, hearty chukar chili after a day spent in the great outdoors. So the next time you find yourself out in the field with your trusty [breed of hunting dog], know that a delicious meal awaits you at home.