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Jun 28, 2006 05:57 AM


We have 4 wild pheasants in our freezer. Looking for some tasty chowhound recipes.

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  1. In the fall, when fresh apple cider is plentiful, I love to cook braised pheasant with caramelized onions and apples in calvados sauce. Below is the website for the original recipe--I just use enough seasoned flour to dust the pheasant pieces, and I don't even think about using so much oil--just enough to brown the pheasant and caramelize the onions (with a little butter for the onions). This produces tender meat with a delicious sauce.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Marge

      Marge - thanks for the recipe! Two questions:
      - Do I leave the skin on? I'm assuming yes.
      - Are the pieces cut similar to that of chicken? I've had pheasant but never a whole one nor have I cooked it at home.

    2. Since the meat, especially the breast meat, has a tendancy to dry out, I prefer braising to roasting. If you do roast, be sure to bard the bird first.

      Like Marge's, my fall-back preps are most appropriate for the autuumn and winter. One involves braising the browned bird with pancetta, herbs, white wine, brandy and chestnuts. In another, a fancy Joel Robuchon dish, you partially roast the bird, stuff it with a piece of foie gras, place it in a dutch oven on a bed of braised endives, seal the dutch oven and finish the cooking in the oven. Pheasant is also great in choucroute (Alsatian sauerkraut) or deboned and used in meat pies, including Morocco's famous pastilla. If you'd like details on any of these preps, say the word.

      1. Lizelle--I do not skin the pheasant. Unlike chicken, pheasant is low in fat, but just make sure all the quills and small feathers are out! Pieces are cut like a chicken. If your pheasants are small, you can quarter rather than eighth them.

        Carswell--"The Word", please post your recipe for the pancetta, herbs, wine, brandy and chestnut braise, thanks!!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Marge

          Salt and pepper the bird (pheasant or guinea fowl). Brown it and a handful of finely chopped pancetta in butter and olive oil. Toss in a branch of fresh rosemary, 1/2 cup brandy and 1 cup dry white wine, bring to a boil and simmer a minute or two. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and 8–10 cooked chestnuts (cook 'em yourself or use vacuum-packed). Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer very gently until done. Remove the bird, all but 1 or 2 chestnuts and the rosemary branch. If necessary, turn up the heat and reduce the cooking liquid. Mash the left-behind chestnuts to thicken and flavour the sauce. Carve the bird and serve it with the reserved chestnuts and napped with the sauce.
          –Adapted from Tempo di Castagne, an Italian cookbook devoted to chestnut recipes.

        2. Excellent. Thanks Marge and carswell - everything sounds (and smells) delicious already - definitely an incentive to get started. Give me some time and I'll report back on how everything turns out... or not. ;)

          Chowhounds: Please continue posting recipes!