I’m pulling the last pheasant out of the freezer today. One of the odd signs that spring is here is the depleting meat supply in my freezer. Because Hunting occurs in the fall, wild game takes up half the freezer. The 4H kids winning cattle entry- meat makes up the other half after the local county fair. After spotting the crooked toes of my last frozen pheasant deep down on the far corner of the deep freezer, I can’t help but chuckle and decide to leave the bird hole for affect when our company arrives tonight. It feels good knowing that spring is around the corner regardless of the mounting snow on my garden.
The first time my husband brought the pheasant home from a hunting trip with their feet still on, I lost my appetite and informed him he was cooking and I was eating frozen pizza. He bargained with me that if I would at least taste it he would do all the dishes. I agreed. He set to work and proceeded to make the driest pheasant meal possible. After a few more attempts of him cooking pheasant, I took over. How hard could it be? The first time I had it, was for dinner at some fancy-smancy, overpriced, -Lord, Let this date be over- restaurant, when I was younger. The only thing of that date I remember was the beautiful presentation of the pheasant and how annoying my date was.
My first couple attempts at cooking pheasant were similar to my husbands and I suggested he try hunting chickens at some random farm at night. I don’t like to waste and I did not give up on attempting cook pheasant and other flying creatures that found their way into my freezer. Now, I have a good repertoire of pheasant recipes that I love to cook. Every fall I continue to create new ones as the freezer fills with super healthy wild game. I’ve come to love pheasant and I am sad when the last bird is gone.
So, tonight I will proceed to scare my dear friend’s children as they watch me hack off the pheasant’s feet and attempt to give one to each of them to examine. I wish I would have seen more of where my food came from growing up. Then it would have been a little easier for me to jump in cook all the wild game my husband hunted during our first few years of marriage. I will savory every bite tonight.
With the end of my pheasant supply, I now have room for more fish in the freezer. Good bye winter!
Here is one of my favorite pheasant recipes…
Blueberry Pheasant Pie
The Wellbeing Kitchen
By Lisa Erickson
2 breasts of pheasant cut into 1” cubes or smaller
1/3 lb of bacon uncooked and cut into small strips
3 slices white bread
1 granny smith apple peeled & chopped
1 Tbsp dry sage
½ of an onion
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp dry thyme
½ cup chopped walnuts
¾ cup wild blueberries
Salt and pepper to taste
4 slices of brie cheese
1 pie crust, top and bottom
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Process bacon and pheasant in food processor for about 10 pulses or chop extra fine with a sharp knife. Add bread and pulse 5 more times. Heat a large fry pan over medium/high heat. Add pheasant mixture, apple, sage, onion, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper, stir constantly, until pheasant is no longer pink -about 7-10 minutes. Add blueberries and walnuts, cook for an 2 additional minutes. Pour entire contents of pan into prepared pie crust. Lay the pieces of brie cheese on top of filling. Working quickly, place top of crust over pie contents and seal around the edge and place 3 slits across the top and bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes until crust is golden brown.