Thursday, August 20, 2009

Baked Pheasant

I previously made baked quail that I loved. I cooked four quail weighing about 4.5 ounces each. They were moist and wonderful. I followed that up with baked chukar partridge that I really didn't like. I followed the same basic recipe, but the chukars, about 1 pound each, were substantially dryer and we didn't even eat them all. After the chukar, I decided if I used the similar recipe on a larger game bird, I would need to add more soup and use more bacon.

I had some frozen pheasant that I decided to pull out and cook while Andrew was at home. I was worried about it as I've not had very good experiences with pheasant. It has always seemed to me very dry and pretty tasteless. I assumed that my quail/chuckar recipe, without substantial variation, would be a larger and dryer version of the not-very-tasty chukar. The pheasant was 2 pounds, 3 ounces, more than double the weight of the chukars.

The pheasant out of the package.

I didn't initially look at the recipe, but just started in from memoery. I cut the pheasant in half.

I took several tbs. of Emeril's Essence Creole Seasoning which I made for a frog legs recipe on Saturday and mixed it into some flour, then coated both sides of the pheasant. I recently read that American's love bacon. If you want a good recipe, then put in bacon. The more the better. Given my concern about dry pheasant, I decided to completely wrap the pheasant halves in bacon and then cooked a few extra pieces as well. I didn't fry the coated and bacon-wrapped pheasant halves in oil, but they didn't need it. The bacon provided sufficient grease.

I put both pheasant halves in a casserole dish and then layed the extra bacon on top of them.

I'd used golden mushroom soup for the quail and cream of mushroom soup for the chukar, which was not as good. So I used a can of golden mushroom soup. For additional flavor, I added in about 4 tbs. of apricot jam and that much or more Ramayani Chicken-Rib Sauce to give it some sweetness.

Then on top of it, I put a package of frozen beans and carrots.

I didn't have access to the recipe. So I put it in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes and pulled it out. It was not anywhere near cooked and it was midnight, so I put it in the refrigerator for the evening and went to bed.

In the morning, I looked up my entries for quail and chukar and decided I needed to add more soup and cook it another half hour. I added bean and bacon soup, thinking the bacon flavor would go well with all the bacon already in the casserole dish. After half an hour of additional baking, and another 10 minutes with the lid off, I tested it and it still was not sufficiently cooked. So I put it in the oven for another 30 minutes and that did the trick.

It turned out substantially better than I'd hoped. The bacon, jam and sweet rib sauce spiced it up dramatically. The pheasant was still moist, or as moist as pheasant gets. It was very good. I kind of liken it to corn-on-the-cob where you enjoy it for the butter, salt and pepper that you heap on it.

When Andrew got up, I had him try it and I enjoyed his reaction. He thought it was very good. He really liked the blend of spices.

So, I think I've found the way to cook the larger and dryer game birds. Lots of soup, bacon and added sweetener. I'm actually looking forward to the left-over pheasant.

No comments:

Post a Comment