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Pheasant

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I was given a freshly killed pheasant. The only advise was "Warch out for the shot." I have collected from others.- poach it- another Braise it , phesant is always dry. A noble bird has died to feed me, help me be worthy. It's currently staying in my freezer.
post #2 of 10
"Watch out for the shot" is pretty important, otherwise everyone that eats it will have small deposits of, well, shot, in the bottom of their lavatories which unfortunately don't flush away, and lead is not really good for you. At all.

When you prepare it, try to remove as much shot as you can see/feel, then give it a good rinse and dry. You may like to brine it to make it more moist - you'll find lots of recipes on the net for this. Follow those, then, rinse and dry again.

Wrap the whole bird in streaky bacon, put a halved apple and lemon it the cavity, then slowly roast at say 170 deg C for a suitable time per kg until internal temp is right, or if you don't have a thermometer, until the fattest part of the bird is pierced and the juices run clear. (I tend to use a thermometer, or wiggle the leg and see if it moves from the joint very easily).

Hoping someone with more experience with pheasant will hop on in here, but that's how I'd do it. Make sure you thaw the bird thoroughly IN the fridge for about 24 hours first, till you can feel no more ice crystals. Then leave it OUT of the fridge for a good 30 minutes to get to room temp. before you prepare and cook it.

Good Luck!
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #3 of 10
Shotgun pellets are now mostly steel, so your major concern would be a broken tooth.

From the Woman's Day Encyclopedia of Cookery:

Pheasant should be hung in a cool place for several days after they have been killed and cleaned. If the bird is being roasted, the trick to keeping it moist lies in the dressing. Slice and dice equal portions of onion and cabbage (personally, here I think red cabbage or a combination of red & white would be nice), and season with salt & pepper. Then, using a wooden spoon, mix with a kind of pounding action until each takes on some of the appearance of the other. Next blend in 3 eggs and enough evaporated milk to produce a wet, almost liquid dressing. Stuff the bird rather compactly and sew up. There may be dressing left, snce the cavity is rather small. Rub the outside with butter and flour, and lay strips of fat bacon over the breast. Roast in a covered baking dish in preheated slow oven (325-350) for 45 minutes to an hour. When the bird is nearly done, remove the cover and the bacon strips for the final 15 minutes of cooking. The steam from the very wet dressing penetrates the meat and moisturizes it. Oops...I forgot, add some diced apple to the dressing, about equal to the amount of onion or cabbage.

If there is extra dressing after stuffing, put it into a separate baking dish and put it into the oven alongside the bird during the final 15 minutes baking.

This would be an ideal application for a clay cooker, if you have one. If you do, I presume you also know how to use it?

I have several other pheasant recipes that you might also enjoy, but this looked the most interesting and tasty to me.

Others:
1. pheasant casserole with sausage
2. pheasant stuffed with sausage
3. braised pheasant with sauerkraut
4. stuffed roast pheasant (not the one above)
5. roasted pheasant (also not the one above)

If you would like any of these, I'll be happy to share.

Let us know what you do and how it turns out.
"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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post #4 of 10
The standard recipe here is braised in stock/cream of mushroom soup. Other than the breast there isn't a whole lot of meat on a pheasant.
post #5 of 10
True, however, once roasted, the bones can be boiled up and whatever meat they do have can be pulled off and used in a cassolette along with sausage and vegetables. Oh...makes me hungry just thinking about it.
"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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post #6 of 10
"Shotgun pellets are now mostly steel, so your major concern would be a broken tooth. "

Not quite, Amazing Grace. Non-toxic shot, which is used primarily for waterfowl, was initially steel. But the ammo makers have since come up with a slew of alternatives, using materials like tungston, imbedded polymers, etc. Even depleted uranium has been used. It's terribly expensive, but for all intents and purposes behaves just like lead.

In the uplands, most gunners still use lead shot. Non-toxic is mandated for upland birds only on a very few federal lands.

Odds are there wasn't much shot in the bird, to begin with (with my handloads, there is never any shot left in the bird). And you remove most of that when cleaning it. The rest can be pretty much felt by your fingers, and popped out.

As to cooking, much depends on whether the bird was plucked or skinned. Most hunters, nowadays, particularly in the Midwest, skin their birds just because it's easier. The downside is that skinning makes cooking the bird even more difficult, because, as others have said, there isn't a lot of fat to begin with, and the bird tends to dry out.

If you want to roast it, a simple recipe is to put an onion and an orange, each cut in half, in the cavity. Season the bird to taste, and drape bacon or thin slices of salt port over it. That will both contribute flavor, and help prevent it from drying out. Tenting with foil can help, too.

Above all, do not cook it like chicken; as that's far too much time in the oven. At 350F, no more than an hour.

Don't forget to save the carcass to use in making stock!

As Mary noted, there isn't much meat other than the breasts. So figure a half pheasant for each person, as a main course.

If you'd like other recipes, particularly some that stretch the bird so more than two can enjoy a taste, let me know. I've only got 50 or 60 or so recipes, and can come up with something to meet your tastes and needs, plain or fancy.

Enjoy your bird!
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 #7 of 10
ky -

>>Odds are there wasn't much shot in the bird, to begin with (with my handloads, there is never any shot left in the bird).

amazing. I presume you load little signs that say "Dear Bird: Drop Dead"?

exactly what causes the bird to fall out of the sky?
do you only shoot it in the head?
or may just throw away any bird that is killed other than by head shot?

curious approach!
post #8 of 10
I think maybe the bird gets charmed out of the sky then is hit over the head with the gun :P

Nice clean headshot with a properly loaded gun? I have no idea (blatantly obvious) but maybe the shot goes clear through the bird when the gun's loaded properly and the bird is shot well.

Anyway, as KYH says, just feel for the shot and pop it out. Cook it moist.

Let us know how it went :)

DC

P.S. was it drawn before freezing? If not, the innards may have tainted the meat.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #9 of 10
Depleted Uranium? Are the birds these days wearing bullet-proof vests, or are you mistaking birds for jet fighters?

I know it's not the most practical given it's not standard equipment, but I'd suggest cooking the breast meat sous-vide at around 150 degrees F (or equivalently cooking the breast meat to an internal temperature of around 150, tops. Pheasant gets tough and stringly very quickly (obviously, or you wouldn't be asking). Also, as others have suggested, larding it with fatty meat will help too.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #10 of 10
I never shot pheasants, I had reared few by putting the eggs under a broody bantam hen! Once they hatch they don't take off and become fairly domesticated, as well did same with partridges! The female of both species test better and are much tender, hanging is highly recommended, so the bird loses moisture!
Pheasant flesh is extremely delicate, and really using too many ingredients does injustice to the original flavour.
Here is a simple recipe:
Crush 5 cloves of garlic(there very small garlic cloves, these are preferred and they are crushed with skin on them) with around 30-40 pepper corn. pinch of rock salt corn in a mortar , melt butter and rub on the bird or bush on it, then rub the mortar content on it as well, this can be just grilled , preferably on charcoal, or placed in a hot oven, for 30 minutes(depending on size or age) , till it is done, if oven ids used, can use slightly sour white grapes halved and cook in butter with little bit of white wine(or dry sherry), chop up the bird and and added to it.
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