Make It a Party: Pheasant and Roasted Poblano Tamales (and Don’t Forget the Tequila)

It wouldn’t be Cinco de Mayo without spending a few hours in the kitchen getting a crick in the neck making tamales. While this recipe can require a couple hours of prep work solo, tamale assembly is best enjoyed with a party–that means tequila, cervezas and friends and family. Tamales freeze easily and are readily available later for when hungry relatives arrive throughout the year. Continue reading “Make It a Party: Pheasant and Roasted Poblano Tamales (and Don’t Forget the Tequila)”

Quick, Hot, Delish: Pheasant Teriyaki Stir-Fry

Teriyaki, when loosely translated, refers to both the shiny and grilled nature of the dish. The teriyaki method of cooking originated in Japan hundreds of years ago, though, today, variations of the sauce and technique vary throughout the world. Still, most recipes follow the fundamentals: grilled or broiled meat tossed in a sauce reduction of soy sauce, mirin and honey or sugar.         Continue reading “Quick, Hot, Delish: Pheasant Teriyaki Stir-Fry”

Grilled Pheasant on Sticks with Spicy-Peanut Dipping Sauce: Pheasant Satay

Since the pheasant originally hails from the East, it only makes since that its meat both accommodates and accentuates Eastern spices and recipes. The dish satay, though its origin remains unclear, is traditionally believed to have originated in Indonesian or Malaysia as a street vendor adaption of Indian kebabs. Marinated in a mix of special spices and skewered with bamboo sticks then grilled over an open flame, this variation of pheasant makes for quite a treat when you pair it with a Thai peanut sauce made famous by The Elk Public House in Spokane, Washington. Satay can be served over jasmine rice or ketupat (rice dumplings). Feel free to forego the homemade marinade recipe and instead marinate your pheasants strip in your favorite store-bought sauce. However, be certain not to miss out on this great-tasting Thai peanut dipping or drizzle sauce.  Continue reading “Grilled Pheasant on Sticks with Spicy-Peanut Dipping Sauce: Pheasant Satay”

The Airline Cut: Grilled Rosemary Pheasant with Red Curry Sauce

For most wingshooters, when it comes to preparing their birds, there are typically two options: breasts and thighs, or the longer—but also more rewarding—process of plucking the entire fowl. However, a happy medium exists between these two choices, one that saves time but also offers the benefits of bone-in, skin-on pheasant.
An airline cut saves skin, resulting in a crispier exterior, while also leaving a drumette attached. While some chefs argue bone-in proteins don’t add extra flavor, I tend to disagree, since I believe innate flavors present in bones seep out into meat during cooking. As well, leaving the drumette attached allows for a more even cook and a juicer piece of pheasant once done grilling.     Continue reading “The Airline Cut: Grilled Rosemary Pheasant with Red Curry Sauce”

Chocolate? Chiles? Now We’re Talking Pheasant Mole Enchiladas

Mole (pronounced “mo-LEY,” as in, “Holy moly that is some good sauce”) is a traditional Mexican sauce with numerous variations, though, in most recipes, it includes a rather unorthodox dinner ingredient: chocolate. Several complicated recipes exist for mole, though I believe some of these recipes involve lengthy steps—for example boiling chicken stock with cinnamon sticks and allspice berries instead of just adding those ground spices—which are rather unnecessary and produce negligible taste results. While this recipe may seem lengthy, creating this sauce shouldn’t take most experienced cooks more than an hour to prepare. A good mole, as my former kitchen manager described it, should be a great-tasting enchilada sauce with a hint of Mexican chocolate—still savory, but not too sweet. Continue reading “Chocolate? Chiles? Now We’re Talking Pheasant Mole Enchiladas”

Flavoring a Rooster Aged for 10 Days

Hang an undressed rooster outside for 10 days?

The idea went against my natural inclinations as both a former line cook and a fisherman. Years of food safety rules and regulations—complete with bi-annual certification tests and multiple kitchen inspections per year—remain engrained in my mind and still largely influence how I handle food during every stage of a meal. Storage temperatures between 40 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit make me nervous, as health code science has labeled this range as the “danger zone,” temperatures where bacteria can potentially grow at a quicker rate.    

As an angler, the thought of allowing guts to sit and stew inside the cavity of any quarry for days on end had my mouth tasting mud (in the metaphorical sense). After all, there is a reason we clean our catch as soon as possible. Innards tend to permeate flesh. Once that happens, they’re spoiled beyond repair, better given as gift to your neighbor’s cat.  Continue reading “Flavoring a Rooster Aged for 10 Days”

Dual Sport Makes for Delicious Dinner–Squirrel and Pheasant Korean-Style Meatballs

It is the perfect remedy for a strong feather-fur drive — a day spent stalking the edges of maple tree groves and cornfields, bagging both squirrel and pheasant.

Squirrel serves as a delicious supplement to any upland bird meal, because the lean meat complements fowl proteins nicely while also adding its own distinct flavor — what some might compare to chicken or even pork. Continue reading “Dual Sport Makes for Delicious Dinner–Squirrel and Pheasant Korean-Style Meatballs”