Pheasant hunting is a pretty famous event in the counties of the Great Plains, where approximately around 1 million pheasants are shot annually. You surely must have met the meat in your local stores, especially in the season. What does pheasant taste like? If you have not tried a pheasant before, you may have this question popping up in your mind, with the hesitation of buying.
Pheasant is widely sold between October to February. It is wild meat, and also there are pheasant farms. South Dakota is the king of wild pheasant harvest. Mostly the farmland owners shoot the pheasants in their lands in the open seasons, and the common law accepts it. Both eggs and meat are considered high nutrient intake and delicious meat. These wild birds were initially found in Asia and were introduced to the states in the 1800s.
What Does Pheasant Taste Like?
Chicken is the poultry we often lean on to. When you need a unique taste change, pheasant meat would be ideal if you feel fed up with the usual bland chicken drumsticks. This game bird meat contains more proteins and less saturated fat than that of chicken and other commonly consumed meat like beef, pork, mallard, and lamb.
What does pheasant taste like? If you didn’t try this poultry yet, you would be confused near the butcher with this question. But you do not even need to worry a bit about the taste and matching it to your preferences as it contains a much more delicious taste than the chicken you eat. The pheasant dishes will carry a unique wild flavour and can be prepared in many recipes. The texture is similar to chicken, and you can follow the same methods you use to cook chicken. A pheasant consists of both dark and white meat, and you will find a juicy texture from a correctly prepared pheasant dish.
How Long Does It Take a Pheasant to Cook?
Pheasant should be well-cooked before consumption. The time may vary according to the method you follow for cooking. If you like the distinct flavour of the pheasant, you can always add fewer spices and flavours to the meat when cooking. Pheasant can be smoked, baked, fried, roasted, and made into a curry or grilled.
If you are using the oven for baking the whole pheasant, preheat the oven to 430°F and set the timer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, decrease the temperature to 350°F and cook for another 35 minutes. Sometimes it would take about an hour. Make sure you place the tray in the middle of the oven. You can insert a fork and check the colour of the juice. If it is still pink after 50 minutes, bake extra time accordingly. But do not overcook to avoid toughness. If you have a food thermometer, check the inner temperature and maintain the temperature around 155- 165 °F. Leave the pheasant for about 10 minutes before serving.
When you want to grill pheasant for a barbeque party, you should preheat the grill to 275°F. Turn the meat pieces while grilling, and you will need to grill for about 10 minutes. You can season with barbeque sauce, salt, and pepper to your taste before grilling.
Should You Soak Pheasant Before Cooking?
Whether it is farm-raised or wild, the meat itself presents a distinct gamey taste. If you are not a fan of the gamey undertone of meat, then you can do a simple trick before cooking. First, emerge the meat in ice water for about 2 minutes.
Then remove the water and refill the container with hot water. Keep it for another 2 minutes and remove the water. Continue the same steps 3 or 4 times. This will draw the blood in the meat, and you will have a pheasant without its wild taste.
If you do not like the strong wild taste of pheasant, you can remove the fat and the silver-coloured skin part before cooking. The same results could be obtained by letting the meat rest for a few hours in salt water.
This is called brining. Some people make the salt solution by adding salt, a little sugar, and bay leaves to hot water. They sink the meat in that solution when it completely cools down. Some people add vinegar to water and take it as a soaking mixture. You can also use buttermilk for the soaking purpose.
Soaking for a long time would make better results in cooking older pheasant meat. But if you are soaking in a salt mixture, ensure you do not pass more than 4 hours. This is to avoid excess salt absorption. Soaking also helps the meat to expand and avoid losing all the moisture when cooking. Therefore, if your previous experience with pheasant is relatively bad, try soaking for more soften-meat in your dishes.
Can You Eat Pheasant Slightly Pink?
Some may think that pinkish colour is seen in the half-cooked pheasant meat. But generally, some birds will present pinkish colour even after fully cooked. Especially the younger hens. If the pinkish vibe has vanished, the pheasant has been overcooked.
If you follow the saltwater sinking before cooking, there will be fewer effects of overcooking if you accidentally forget to switch off the fire or take it out of the oven. We have explained the process with the reasons in the above paragraphs.
What Do You Eat With Pheasant?
When you want to change the usual dinner table, a pheasant roasted with some sour cream will do the best for your delight. You can bake a whole pheasant with mushrooms, bacon, and your desired vegetables as a filling.
You can add veggie side dishes like roasted tomato, coleslaw salad, French fries, creamed spinach, mashed potatoes etc. It will also make a well-matched duo with pasta salad or fresh corn salsa.
If you often face shilly-shally situations at the meat department of a supermarket when you see pheasant for sale, this article will clarify all your doubts. Here, we have included some ways to adjust the meat to your flavour.
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