So, the pheasant we cooked the other night? Totally awesome. And neither of us ate any buckshot, so score.
Seriously, how hillbilly is it that not choking on ammunition = a successful meal? If I ever blog about grilling possum on the hood of my car, promise me you’ll stage an intervention.
Anyway, the pheasant was super lean yet had good flavor, and it was the perfect size for two people. If I wasn’t going to spend Thanksgiving devouring a turkey the size of a VW Beetle with 20 of my relatives, I’d totally cook a pheasant for my holiday meal. Here’s the recipe we used (it’s from a cookbook called “500 All-Time Great Recipes” we got at a yard sale):
1 oven-ready pheasant (as in, de-feathered and de-bulleted)
2 small onions, quartered
3 celery stalks, thickly sliced
2 red apples, thickly slicked (we used Pink Ladies and they were amazing)
1/2 cup stock (we used chicken)
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Pinch of nutmeg
2 tablespoons toasted hazelnuts
Salt and ground black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Fry the pheasant without fat in a nonstick frying pan, turning occasionally until golden. Remove and keep warm.
Fry the onions and celery in the pan to brown lightly. Spoon into a casserole dish and place the pheasant on top. Tuck the apple slices around it.
Spoon over the stock, honey, and Worcestershire sauce. Sprinkle with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and bake for 45-90 minutes (depends on the size of the bird) until tender. Check it often – we let ours go a little too long. Sprinkle with hazelnuts and serve hot.
We omitted the hazelnuts, since our town’s grocery stores have only slightly more variety than the food section of your local gas station. It was still good.
Make sure you load your plate with plenty of apples, onions and celery – they were just as good (maybe even better) than the pheasant.