how to cook a pheasant bird

Another trick is a searing hot oven, followed by a stint in a cooler oven. This isn’t a terribly new idea, and if you happen to have the Englishman Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s The River Cottage Meat Book, he goes into this pretty thoroughly. I like my second, cooler step a bit cooler than he does, however.

You should roast a beautiful pheasant whole, just like a chicken, if life gives you one that you haven’t shot up. However, pheasants are not chickens; if roasted incorrectly, they can quickly become dry and unsightly. That’s where this recipe comes in.

When roasting lean game birds like pheasant, wild turkey, sharp-tailed grouse, or even smaller birds like chukars or quail, brining is an essential step. You risk dry birds if you skip this step.

Unlike many other roast pheasant recipes you may have seen, this one depends on a few special techniques. One is an eight-hour brine, which will help the bird stay moist and season it.

The third is resting the bird. Fearnley-Whittingstall is a big believer in this, but then, so are all chefs deserving of praise.

Before deciding to have pheasant for dinner, I kept a young, two-pound bird in the refrigerator for a few days. Although I didn’t brine the bird, you still should before cooking it. Soaking your bird overnight is a foolproof method. Just be sure the bird is fairly dry before roasting it.

Place the pheasant in a roasting pan and cover the entire bird, including the cavity and under the skin, with garlic butter. Generously season with salt and pepper. Place half of the cooked chorizo inside the bird’s cavity. To prevent the wing tips from burning, tuck them in and secure the legs with butcher’s twine. Add the parsnip sticks and the remaining chorizo to the pan. After soaking the parsnips in olive oil, season with a dash of salt and pepper. Add the lemon halves to the roasting pan.

I allowed this bird to come to room temperature before stuffing it full of fragrant food. Alongside the pheasant, I also added some parsnip sticks to roast; think of them like french fries without the fries. So good. Of course, you could always use potatoes or carrots in place of these delicious root vegetables.

After inserting the roasting pan, bake it for thirty minutes. Remove the pan with care, turn the parsnips, and bast the bird. Return the roasting pan to the oven and continue cooking for a further 20 minutes, or until the pheasant reaches 165 degrees in the thickest section and its juices run clear. Take the bird out of the oven, give it another basting, and leave it to rest for ten minutes.

FAQ

Which cooking method is best for pheasant?

Q: What cooking methods work well for pheasant? A: Pheasant can be cooked using various methods, but oven roasting, pan-searing, and grilling are popular choices. Oven roasting at a moderate temperature (around 350°F or 175°C) helps to retain the bird’s moisture and ensures even cooking.

Do you have to soak pheasant before cooking?

Since pheasant doesn’t have as much fat as other meat, it can dry out quickly during the cooking process. Soaking it in liquid before cooking can add more moisture to the meat, and this will make for a more tender bird. For younger birds, soak the meat for about four hours.

How do you prepare pheasant to eat?

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add pheasant legs and thighs and season with salt, pepper, oregano, and paprika. Cook until golden brown and no longer pink inside (roughly 8 minutes per side).

Are pheasants good to eat?

The Facts About Pheasant Meat So what makes pheasant a healthy meat? Well, it’s low in fat while being high in protein. It’s also full of minerals such as iron, zinc and selenium. And for those who don’t like fat, know this: pheasant has less fat than duck and chicken.