I love pheasant. It’s my favorite meat to cook with.
Pheasant cooks very fast and is mild enough to compliment any vegetable or starch.
When I’m in a hurry, which is most days, I grab my pre-made meatballs out of the freezer and toss them frozen in a fry pan. I melt with a pat or two of butter, cover the pan with a lid and reheat them on low for about 12-15 minutes until they are thawed. Then, I proceed with whatever recipe I’m in the mood for.
I created the pheasant rye crisps for Pheasants Fest 2020. I wanted a recipe that highlighted pheasant, but also a recipe that was still delicious enough to make on its own without the pheasant. Too, often I run out of pheasant and have to resort to chicken or as you will see below, I skip the meat and go without.
Onion Rye Pheasant Crisps
To make Pheasant Meat Balls:
1 whole pheasant, meat stripped from breasts and legs or 1/2 lb. of ground chicken
3 slices of light rye bread, torn into small pieces
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/3 cup half & half
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish
Preheat oven to 375.
In a food processor, pulse pheasant until coarsely ground. Add rye bread and pulse until bread is incorporated. Add parmesan cheese, and half & half; mix until the mixture comes together. Add parsley and pulse 2-3 times.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Roll into 1-inch round meatballs. Bake meatballs on the baking sheet for 10-15 minutes or until just done. Transfer to plate and set aside.
To make Pheasant Crisps:
2 cups Havarti cheese, grated or broken apart if too soft
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup caramelized onions (see recipe below)
2 Tbsp. melted butter
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 large lavash crackers, precooked pizza crust, or flat bread
Place oven rack to the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 500℉.
Sprinkle the lavash crackers with the Havarti and cheddar cheese divided between both lavash crackers. Top with the caramelized onions and pheasant rye meatballs sliced in half. Using a pizza peel or a flat cookie sheet transfer pheasant crisp to hot oven. Bake for 9-10 minutes or until crust is lightly browned and cheese is bubbling. Remove from oven and drizzle with the remaining warm butter and parsley.
To make Caramelized Onions:
1-2 large onions, sliced thin
1/4 cup butter
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large fry pan, over medium heat, add butter. Add onions to melted butter and reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring frequently until onions are a light golden color and very tender; about 25 minutes.