Did you know pheasants were introduced to America way back in the 17th Century?
Originating in Asia pheasants are commonly associated as a European bird and were a favorite of the European nobles and royalty for their fine feathers and superb eating qualities.
Pheasant is often associated with fancy restaurant cooking however cooking a whole pheasant or pheasant pieces is easy. It is a delicious meat and can be cooked in many ways, slow cooked, smoked, in stews, or fried.
Pheasants can be both hunted and bought in many stores as well as being easily ordered online.
If you are hunting your pheasants it is best to field dress the birds as soon as possible after they are shot. This speeds up the cooling process of the bird preserving that great pheasant flavor.
Pluck the feathers instead of skinning the bird if you can as I believe the skin helps retain more and the best flavor.
Nutritional Value Of Pheasants
Pheasant meat is very healthy, with less total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol than chicken.
1. Pheasant Gumbo Adapted From Prejan’s Famous Gumbo
- 5 tbsp butter or vegetable oil (for roux)
- 5 tbsp all purpose flour (for roux)
- ¼ cup corn oil
- 1/2 pound andouille sausage, sliced into ¼ inch thick circles
- ¼ pound smoked cajun sausage
- 3/4 cup coarsely diced onion
- 1/2 cup coarsely diced bell pepper
- 1/4 cup finely diced celery
- 2 large Pheasant breasts (Easy way).
For a deeper flavour you can use 1 whole 2 -3 lb pheasant. Roast it with some seasoning at 350 F for 35 minutes (until juices run clear) and then pull meat from bones (discard skin and bones)
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 small bay leaf
- 2 1/2 quarts concentrated chicken stock
- 2 tsp Kitchen Bouquet or Worcestershire sauce
- 4 dashes Tabasco or Louisiana hot sauce
- 3 tbsp sliced green onion tops
Cooking the Gumbo
1. Make the Roux
A Roux pronounced roo is simply a browned in a mixture of flour and oil. It is used to thicken stews and of course, is the base for gumbo recipes. where a rich, deep, hearty flavor, and texture is desired.
In a cast iron skillet or heavy-bottom saucepan, heat butter or oil over medium heat.
Whisk in the flour, a little at a time and cook, whisking constantly, until roux becomes smooth and thick. Reduce the heat to low and Continue cooking , remembering to constantly stir with a spoon. the roux will darken to a rich brown color. This process can take some time, generally it takes me from 30 to 45 minutes. It will depending on your stove. Don’t rush this the slower the roux is cooked the better.
2. Making The Gumbo
Heat corn oil to hot and maintain heat in a cast-iron or other heavy pot over medium-low heat.
Meanwhile, in a nonstick skillet, brown andouille sausage, then add to oil in the cast-iron pot. Repeat process with Cajun sausage, onion, bell pepper and celery and pheasant,
Each ingredient should be cooked individually on the skillet then added to the heavy pot.
3. Add The Spice.
Add the paprika, black pepper, white pepper, cayenne and bay leaf to the pot and stir.
4. Add The Liquid
Mix in stock.
5. Thicken It Up
Slowly stir in the Roux until blended. Then slowly Bring to a boil and cook around 40 minutes, remembering to stir regularly.
6. Add More Spice
Add Kitchen Bouquet, or Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco or Louisiana hot sauce and green onions and stir well.
7. Shred The Meat
If you have used pheasant breasts or pieces with bones, take them out and shred the meat, return to the pot and simmer for 5 – 10 minutes and serve.
Serve with rice.
You can check out the similar Prejean’s Pheasant, Quail and Andouille Gumbo recipe.
2. Jalapeno Poppers With Pheasant
I love this pheasant recipe and it is so easy to make.
- 20 jalapeno peppers
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons dried basil flakes
- 1 teaspoon celery salt
- 2 teaspoons dry rub pepper
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 (3-pound) pheasant, cooked, bones removed or sautee same amount of pheasant pieces. Any will do they all taste great.
- 1 package thinly sliced bacon
Cooking the Poppers
- Soak some bamboo skewers in water for 15 minutes or use metal skewers.
- Preheat grill over medium-high heat.
- Wash peppers and slice in half cross-ways and remove the seeds.
- Mix cream cheese with herbs, spices and green onions.
- Slice the pheasant thinly.
- Stuff the jalapenos loosely with the cheese mixture and sliced pheasant.
- Wrap peppers with 1/2 slice of bacon.
- Place 4 pepper halves on a skewer and grill until done, about 8 minutes.
3. Bayou Pheasant Gumbo
This is an easier version of pheasant gumbo to try. Tastes great
- 2 pheasants. Feel free to use pheasant pieces already prepared for ease. (can also use duck)
- 1/2 cup safflower oil
- All purpose flour
- 2 onions, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 t salt
- Louisiana Hot Sauce to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 2 T Worcestershire sauce
- 1 turnip, peeled
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 pounds smoked sausage
- 1/2 pint oysters
- 3 shallots, chopped
- 1 T minced parsley
- File gumbo powder
Cooking the Bayou Gumbo
- Heat the oil in a Dutch oven. Cut the pheasant into eating pieces and brown in the oil.
- Remove the pheasant and add flour to make a roux. Stir until very dark, but do not burn.
- Quickly add the onions, bell peppers, and garlic. Stirring, cook the mixture down until the vegetables are very soft.
- Add the cup of hot water and stir in. Add the browned pheasant and stir in enough additional hot water to cover all the pheasant pieces.
- Bring to a slow boil. Season with salt, pepper, Louisiana hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Add the turnip and bay leaf. Cover and cook for 1 hour.
- Brown the sausage, drain, cut into bite size pieces and add to the gumbo. Cook, covered for 20 minutes.
- Add the oysters, shallots, and parsley. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes longer.
- Serve over rice. Sprinkle with the file gumbo powder.
4. Chicken Fried Pheasant
My kids absolutely love this one. It is super quick and super simple to make.
- 1 cup milk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 2 pheasant breast halves, thinly sliced
- 1 cup finely crushed saltine cracker crumbs
- 1 cup canola oil for frying
Cooking the Fried Pheasant
- In a shallow bowl, mix the milk and vinegar.
- Dip the pheasant slices in the milk and vinegar mixture, then press both side in the cracker crumbs to coat.
- Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the pheasant in the hot oil about 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
- Drain on paper towels.
5. Pheasant With Roasted Apples
Another super easy and delicious pheasant recipe for you to try.
- 1 whole pheasant, skin off or on
- 3-6 pieces bacon or pork fat, cut into 1/8 inch thick strips
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 large apples, cored and sliced into ¼ inch wedges
- 1 tablespoon Calvados
- 7 tablespoons heavy cream
- Salt and pepper
Cooking the Fried Pheasant
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Season the pheasant with salt and pepper. Truss the pheasant.
- Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a heavy-bottomed ovenproof pan, and brown the pheasant on each side, about 4 minutes. Remove pheasant from pan and put aside.
- Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan and fry the apples quickly. Place them in the bottom of the casserole. Add lard to the pheasant across the breast, secure with toothpicks. Place the pheasant on top of the apples.
- Cover the pan in tin foil or with a lid and put it in a preheated oven and immediately lower the temperature to 425 degrees F and cook for 30 minutes.
- Five minutes before serving, pour 7 tablespoons of heavy cream and 1 tablespoon Calvados over the pheasant. Untruss it, carve into joints and serve very hot with the apples.
Where And When To Buy Or Hunt Your Pheasants
Hunting season for pheasants varies by state however it is generally around October through December. Check your local state regulations.
MacFarlane are the biggest producers of Pheasant in the U.S.A and are a great place to buy your pheasant of you are not hunting them yourself. You can buy these all year round.
Check out your local store that sells game meat, or for real simplicity order on Amazon to have it delivered straight to your door.
So why not go and try a pheasant dish for the family? You wont be disappointed
Check out more great WILD GAME RECIPES HERE
Source Your Ingredients Here
Order your ingredients here you may not have in store.
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Note on Pheasant: To save some money you may want to shop around for a cheaper price on this ingredient.
You can also substitute Duck for these recipes at any time.