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Pheasant

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I've never had pheasant. What's it like, compared to ostrich, duck, or goose, and, of course turkey and chicken?

Shel
post #2 of 15
Tastes like chicken. :lol:

(Sorry, but you walked into that one.)

Seriously, in my experience it is pretty much like a slightly gamey chicken -- pretty mild, on the lean side (needs barding if you roast it), like guinea hen but not as dark. The first time I ever had it was in Salzburg, Austria: a salmi of pheasant that just blew me away -- I wouldn't let the waiter take my plate until I had sopped of every last drop of sauce. Since then I've had it smoked, mostly, because it's tricky to cook so that it doesn't dry out.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #3 of 15
I like the "tastes like chicken". At HP, in R&D we used that as an explanation when we couldn't figure out what was wrong with a failed printer cartridge.

I have never tried pheasant, so I shouldn't have replied, but too late now.
post #4 of 15
What can I say, it pretty much does, :p if you remember when chicken had flavor. Pheasant is NOTHING like duck, or turkey, or ostrich -- all of which have their own unique flavors and textures.

I presume the pheasant in question is farm-raised. Even so, it can have good flavor and texture, but it will still be pretty lean and require delicate handling.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #5 of 15
My dad shot some wild pheasant when I was a kid. It was a bit gamey/sagey but I recall liking it well enough. Except for picking out pieces of shot...

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #6 of 15
Where I grew up, chicken had a lot of flavor and sometimes was tough even. That was India.

I haven't tried ostrich, but I have had hawk meat (yuk)
post #7 of 15
But as far as tough chicken, that can be a good thing--you can simmer it a long time without it falling apart. It's great for curry recipes.
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Suzanne ...

There are a few sources around these parts that sell pheasant. I'm just starting to explore the options.

I'm also finding some wonderful sources for great meat, much of it locally raised. Some great sources for eggs and chickens as well. Food is starting to taste real again ...

For anyone interested, I found this site earlier today:

Local Forage: THE SOURCEROR: Local Meat

Shel
post #9 of 15
I've only had wild pheasant...which I would guess is just about a totally different bird from raised pheasant.

The wild pheasant that I've cooked/ate has had it's slightly unique mild gamey taste. I know very little about the secrets of cooking properly with pheasant. I've had better results cooking the breast to rare than more done. I've also had decent results with various braised pheasant dishes. Through my experience it turned out best when the breast were cooked a little, or the whole bird (or thigh/legs) were cooked lower and longer.

Do they have any squab where you're going? yummm

good luck...and let us know what works for you.
dan
post #10 of 15
I eat a lot of pheasant in season here in the UK. I like it a lot. It has a slightly more gamey taste than chicken.
post #11 of 15
Have hunted and eaten pheasant since I was a pup.It does resemble chicken more than anything else. It can be very good and when it is not, it is because it is too dry. It presents the same problems in cooking that chicken breasts present only more so. I have taken to brining mine to compensate for the leanness. I would lard in addition to this as Suzanne suggested. One of the special problems of wild pheasants brought in from hunting is that the birds are always skinned when cleaned because it is such a pain in the *** to pluck them. Hence the natural subcutaneous fat is stripped away from the meat. I have often wished I had caul to wrap them in. I bet that would work great.
post #12 of 15
Shel,

To compare them:

Ostritch is a dark, red meat, more akin to beef than fowl. Generally it is prepared like beef. Cook it beyond the rare stage and it becomes shoeleather; although it is fantastic smoked.

Duck & goose: Have their own flavors, of course. Indeed, each species of duck brings a unique taste to the table. Wood duck, for instance, have a nutiness. In general, they are dark meat, more like the leg meat of a turkey. Goose is darker than duck, and is often handled like beef as well. For instance, you might broil the breasts rare, then serve sliced thin with an appropriate sauce.

Pheasant is like guinea fowl in taste, but the meat is white rather than dark; sort of the way chicken used to taste. I wouldn't describe it as gamey, myself. But there is an underlying wildness to it.

All game---even that which is farm-raised---lacks fat compared to their domestic counterparts. So you have to add fat, in one form or another, particularly when roasting (most often bacon is used for this purpose), and cook it for a shorter period of time.

Although plucking birds is always a PITA, pheasant (ditto grouse, quail, and other upland birds) are much easier to pluck than waterfowl. I usually pluck upland birds, but skin ducks and geese. The exception is if I'm planning a whole roast goose, in which case I'll pluck it.

Let me know if you want to fix that pheasant plain or fancy and I'll post a recipe or six.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #13 of 15
It will soon be the 'Glorious Twelfth' (of August). The start of the grouse season in the UK..... Can't wait.
post #14 of 15
I'm with Suzanne on this one. My aunt served pheasant one day and I kept insisting I didn't like chicken. Her loophole? "It's not chicken; it's pheasant." Tasting it did not help my suspicions -- I was sure she was lying to make me eat, but I ate it because I couldn't reveal my suspicions. It's pretty much chicken... some people might not even know it isn't chicken when they eat it.
Ladybug all dressed in red,
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If I were tiny just like you
I'd creep among the flowers too!
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Ladybug all dressed in red,
Strolling through the flower bed.
If I were tiny just like you
I'd creep among the flowers too!
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post #15 of 15
I just think it tastes like pheasant. It's kind of like asking what does pork taste like? It tastes like pork. I love pheasant. I remember my grandpa hunting pheasant and my grandma cooking it, but I don't know how she prepared it. I was a little kid then. I think she baked it, but a lot of people around here fry it like chicken.
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