A few weeks ago, I discovered wild pheasant online and wanted to give it a try. Being a huge fan of a roast chicken and turkey, I got to work in the kitchen.
After realizing that the bird still had feather and organs, I did my best to pluck it and decided that a few feather where not a big deal (I guess I can’t eat the skin)😂. When cleaning the bird, make sure that the shot isn’t in the bird anymore. If you see any bullets, it’s better to diehard the bird since there is a potential for lead contamination. It’s a pity but it’s better for your health 🙌🏻
The pheasant meat is a lot darker and leaner than that of a chicken, but felt very tender. Since the bird is a lot smaller (only about 2 pounds), it needs a lot less time in the oven and needs to be supervised to make sure it does not dry out.
After cleaning it, I decided to go for a dry brine of just salt so that the bird retains some moisture and does not dry out. Some people also opt for a wet brine (like you would with a chicken or Turkey) but I’m very unfamiliar with that so I went for what I know 😎
My dry brine was just a generous amount of salt in the cavity and outside of the bird. Prior to preparing it, I removed it from the refrigerator (it had been brining for about 6 hours), and seasoned it with a bit of pepper (I didn’t add any salt as it had been salted before).
I decided to pre-sauté the bird in the pan with a bit of ghee before transferring it into an oven preheated to 400°F for about 20 minutes.
When I seared it in the pan, I propped it up so that the legs where mainly being cooked because those need longer than the breast (the oven can take care of that…). Overall, the searing process took about 7 minutes.
I then propped it up again on a roasting rack and popped it into the oven for about 20 minutes.
After removing the bird from the oven, I loosely covered it with aluminum foil and let it rest for 20 minutes before I carved it. I normally would have eaten the skin, but I decided to take it off since I was not very good at plucking it completely 😅
So to sum it up, to prepare a wild Scottish game pheasant (to feed 2-3) you need:
1) one wild game pheasant 🦃
2) ghee (we love Pure Indian Foods)
3) salt and pepper
If you’d like to make a “gravy”, you can put some garlic, onion, and carrots into the bottom of the roasting tray, they will cook and soak up the drippings in the heat and you can blend the mixture together into a sauce with some butter. We didn’t do that since I don’t do very well with garlic and onion, but my mom has done this method a lot of times when we roast a chicken or a turkey!