The pheasant is a delightful little bird that tastes amazing. This roasted pheasant recipe brings out the best in this little bird. Actually it’s not that little; a chubbier pheasant can easily feed four people.
This is another bird I’d never tried before coming to Canada. Pheasant sounded very exotic to me much like the partridge and I had to try it. So when I saw it being sold at my local supermarket, I bought one immediately. It was frozen; again, so I thawed it overnight in the fridge and the next day removed it from its plastic packaging. I decided to do things a little differently this time.
Following the advice of the author of Salt Fat Acid Heat, Samin Nosrat, I salted it using a generous amount of kosher salt 24 hours before cooking it. I borrowed her book from the library and read it from cover to cover. While I love some of the ideas in it, I don’t agree with everything. I truly think you can mix and match different ingredients from different cultures, food is about experimenting! Anyway, it is a really good book and I recommend that you read it. But, if you can’t buy it, try to find it at your local library.
So, after salting and seasoning the pheasant for a good 24 hours, I brought it up to room temperature, preheated the oven and popped it in! It’s as simple as that. I sometimes find that the best recipes tend to be the simplest. Anyway, I believe that anyone can learn to cook a good, tasty and nutritious meal for themselves. Recipes are only guidelines, so modify them, play with them and get creative! The flavour of pheasant is a slightly gamey, mostly light, delicate meat, with very little fat. I think it’s a pretty lean protein source, so it’s perfect if you’re watching your fat intake!
- One large pheasant, approximately one kilogram in weight.
- Two tablespoons kosher salt
- One teaspoon each of smoked paprika, garlic powder and chilli flakes
- Three tablespoons olive oil
- One teaspoon cracked black pepper
- Thaw the pheasant overnight in the fridge. The next day (the day before you cook it), combine the salt, paprika, garlic, chilli flakes in a small bowl or plate.
- Rub the salt and spices all over the bird. Carefully loosen the skin from the meat and get the seasoning under the skin as well. I highly recommend not skipping this part, the seasoning gets into the meat better this way, adding amazing flavour!
- Cover the pheasant and refrigerate it overnight.
- The following day, remove the pheasant from the fridge half an hour to one hour before you intend to place it into the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 370 degrees Fahrenheit
- Place the pheasant in an ovenproof pan. With a tablespoon, pour olive oil all over the surface of the pheasant. Make sure to coat it with a generous amount of oil. If necessary, add more oil.
- Put the pheasant breast up in the oven and roast for 45-50 minutes until the juices run clear and the skin is crispy and golden. Serve with salad and enjoy!
Have you ever made pheasant before? How did you make it? Do you have any interesting ideas for me for the next time I make pheasant? Let me know in the comments!
For more roast meat recipes, check out:
- Roast Duck with Red Currant glaze
- Roasted Partridge and vegetables
- Roast Frog Legs
- Roast Stuffed Pigeons
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