Easy it is, but this does take a little preparation time. The secret is to keep everything nice and simple, leaving the strong flavours to come to the fore themselves. The other thing to stress here is that the grouse must be pink – gently poach this fabulous meat for a few seconds only. Marrowbones are getting easier to find nowadays, partly due to being featured on television programmes and used by top chefs. I have just come back from Atlanta, Georgia, where even a burger chain is ordering a half-cut roasted marrowbone as a side.
Heat a large non-stick frying pan; add the oil and the chopped leg meat from the grouse, along with the carcass, and gently fry for a good 10 minutes to brown really well. Pop into a large saucepan, add the stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and gently simmer for 30-40 minutes.
Skim the oil and any bits from the surface. Strain well, discarding the cooked bones, return to the washed-out saucepan and skim again.
Add the garlic, chilli, leek, onion and red pepper and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are just cooked.
Add the rice noodles and mushrooms and then simmer just until the noodles have softened – this will not take long, seconds probably. The flavour will now be really developed and the liquid slightly reduced, so you may have to add a little water if the soup is getting too thick.
Season well with salt and pepper.
Slice the grouse breasts lengthways into thin strips, about $mm wide, and cut the marrow into &cm cubes.
When ready to serve, reheat the soup. Drop in the lettuce and grouse and just warm – do not overcook.
Finally, add the marrow and coriander and leave for 1 minute, then quickly serve in warm deep bowls.