Hunting Pheasants – Fried Pheasant Recipe

February 18, 2009 by  

By Doug Leier

When I look back over pictures of may dad and I hunting pheasants in the 1980s, it’s not hard to see from the old prints how special these birds were. In this age of taking thousands of digital photos, even 25 years ago a couple of snap shots were usually reserved only for a significant outing and a couple of roosters were worthy of such attention.

I also looked forward to dining on pheasant. I grew up in a home where wild game was the norm and traditional food was a bit more of a treat. It seems odd, but we ate it all –not just the breasts, but the heart, gizzard, legs, etc. As the old German’s would say, we ate everything from the pig except for the squeal.

I didn’t mind grouse, partridge, and an array of ducks and geese. But then as now, I far and away prefer pheasant as table fare.

Which brings us to 2007. Pheasant season started Oct. 13 and runs through Jan. 6, 2008. The daily limit is three and the possession limit is 15. As limits of roosters are now a bit more common than when I first started hunting roosters, Kodak moments are a little more frequent, though no less significant.

An additional bonus is that a few more pheasants in the freezer means more opportunities to experiment with different ways to prepare roosters for the kitchen table.

While good old fashioned roast rooster is still hard to beat, pheasant stir fry, deep fried pheasant strips and rooster soup have found their way onto plates and spoons in new and different ways. About the only way you can fail with pheasant is to not properly take care of it.

First, keep the bird clean in the field, and cool it as soon as possible. Field dressing – removing the internal organs while still maintaining legal identification requirements – is appropriate just about any time a full cleaning is more than a couple of hours away.

Next, don’t wait to long to determine the eventual plans for the game. If you’re going to prepare and cook it within 24-36 hours, storing it in a refrigerator will suffice. If you’ve decided to save the bird for a later date, properly clean it and freeze it.

The method at our home was freezing pheasants in a milk carton filled with water. Milk cartons are plentiful and over the course of a few months I don’t remember any birds tasting freezer-burned with this method of storage.

These days, many hunters use a vacuum sealer. I’ve not heard anyone complain about the functionality of these, either, though if past history is any gauge, anytime wild game is stored beyond nine months all bets are off. And it’s a shame to let such tasty fare go to waste.

As you sample the bounty of another great autumn, don’t forget that once the bird hits the ground, the time between field and frying pan is important to a mouth-watering meal.

If you’re tired of the same old Cream of Mushroom Soup Pheasant Recipes, check out one of my favorites:

Fried Pheasant Recipe Ingredients

2 pounds pheasant breast, cut into strips
1 teaspoon meat tenderizer
1 cup all-purpose flour
seasoned salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup dry potato flakes
1/2 (16 ounce) package buttery round crackers, crushed
1 egg
1/2 cup milk

Fried Pheasant Recipe Directions

1.Preheat a deep fryer for 375 to 400 degrees F (190 to 200 degrees C).

2.Sprinkle the pheasant meat with meat tenderizer and pound lightly with a mallet to make all the pieces uniform and the same thickness. Using a medium bowl, combine the flour, seasoned salt, pepper, potato flakes and crushed cracker crumbs. Mix well and set aside.

3.In a separate medium bowl, combine the egg and the milk and whisk until smooth. Dip the pheasant meat strips into the egg mixture then dredge each strip into the flour mixture. Coat well and thoroughly and lay out on a plate so the strips can be easily transferred to the deep fryer.

4.Place the strips in a deep fryer set at 375 to 400 degrees F (190 to 200 degrees C) until golden brown. (Note: You can also pan fry these in a skillet over medium high to high heat with 1 cup oil for pan frying, but you may need to flip them if they are not submerged in oil.)

Check out more Pheasant Recipes here at Nodak Outdoors.


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