All recipes are not created alike
Many people will assume they can take a pheasant recipe and exchange it for a duck or goose recipe and expect it to taste good or worse, chicken! Pheasant and ducks are very different. Although they are both birds they have very different lifestyles. One migrates the other hangs around all winter. One walks for most of its life and the other flies. Dove, squab, partridge and quail all have different ways they live too. Taking time to think about the amount of red fiber muscle with help you decide which recipe will work with what bird. Cooking times and temperatures all play a role in the success of an outstanding wild game meal.
If your recipe calls for duck, use duck. if it calls for pheasant use pheasant. There are some really good recipes out there. Take the time to find an experienced wild game cook and follow their recipes carefully. DO NOT CUT CORNERS! More than likely they have spent a lot of time creating and testing it. There is a rule I have used for many years and I have been wasting less wild game because of it; always cook the recipe exactly as it says the first time. If you decide to make it again, then adjust as you see fit.
My boys go nuts over this recipe!
Pan Fried Pheasant with Sour Cream Sauce and Wild Rice
¼ stick of butter
4 Pheasant breasts and leg meat removed from the bone seasoned with salt and pepper. Reserve the entire carcass for homemade pheasant broth.
1 onion sliced thin into rings
1/3 cup water
1 clove of garlic smashed
1 ½ Tbsp bottled horseradish cream
½ of lemon
½ cup Sour cream or Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons of chopped parsley or lemon basil
Melt butter over med-high heat in a heavy bottomed fry pan. When butter begins to turn golden on the edges of the pan add pheasant and cook until edges of pheasant begin to turn white and flip. Continue to cook and when the other side is lightly browned, remove from pan and place the pheasant cutlets on a holding plate and cover with foil. Watch carefully so the butter does not begin to burn. Try not to use a Teflon pan; otherwise you will not have much for pan scrapings to make a lovely colored pan sauce.
Add onions to pan and cook until they are slightly soft. Add water and scrap up bottom of pan dripping (also known as frond) add the garlic, horseradish cream, and lemon juice. Return the pheasant to the pan and cover until pheasant pieces are just cooked completely, about 3-4 additional minutes. Off the heat and add sour cream, parsley, and stir to coat pheasant pieces. Plate with wild rice pilaf, pheasant, onions and pan sauce, serve immediately as the rice can cool quickly.
Wild Rice Pilaf
2 carrots peeled and chopped
1 onion chopped into large pieces
2 tablespoons of butter
6 cups pheasant stock or chicken stock
8 oz of raw wild rice
Place wild rice and broth in large covered sauce pan and bring to a boil, reduce heat to a slow simmer and cook for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and let it rest for an additional 10 minutes. Dump off remaining broth and fluff and leave rice covered. In a separate fry pan sauté carrots over medium heat until they begin to soften about 5 minutes add onions and cook until the onions are transparent about, 3 more minutes. Stir the carrot and onions into the wild rice and keep covered until ready to serve.
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